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Let's Celebrate! Altrincham wins major national award for sustainability

At a ceremony held at the House of Lords in London last night, an entry submitted by Altrincham Business Improvement District (BID) won the Sustainability Award in the Let's Celebrate Towns Awards.

Altrincham BID's Mandy White (c) and Kate Gerbich (r) with Mandy Lambe, Managing Director UK & Ireland at Visa at last night's ceremony

Altrincham has won a major award recognising its commitment to sustainability - as well as £15,000 in prize money to be put towards future projects.

At a ceremony held at the House of Lords in London last night, an entry submitted by Altrincham Business Improvement District (BID) won the Sustainability Award in the Let's Celebrate Towns Awards, hosted by Visa and the British Retail Consortium.

The award is reward for Altrincham's commitment to sustainability, as demonstrated by the projects, developments and green initiatives in the town.

Some of the key projects that have contributed to town’s sustainable growth include:

  • Trafford Council’s Move Altrincham (Altrincham Leisure Centre): A state-of-the-art facility promoting fitness and well-being in the community due to open in 2024.
  • Bruntwood and Trafford Council’s Foundation: The repurposing and re-envisioning the old House of Fraser building to create workspaces with outdoor terraces, supported by an evolving hub of retail, leisure, and community uses, including an impressive 375 sqm HYVERT living wall.
  • Altrincham Interchange: A pivotal transportation hub facilitating eco-friendly travel options.
  • Public Realm Improvements: Featuring cycle lanes, rain gardens, enhancing both aesthetics and sustainability.
  • CargoCycle Altrincham Project: A forward-thinking initiative by Altrincham BID promoting eco-friendly and sustainable delivery solutions.
  • Our Altrincham and Altrincham in Bloom: Community-driven environmental initiatives fostering a sense of pride in the town.

Green businesses and their initiatives were also recognised including Altrincham Market’s One Small Step, Bounce Back Foods and their recycling centre, Ginkgo Herbs and Health, Underfound, Re:Store, Ferrious, the Hive by VH Interiors and Skanda, to name a few.

Many Altrincham businesses also participate in the Refill scheme, an innovative program encouraging the reduction of single-use plastics in the community, coordinated locally by Altrincham BID.

Altrincham’s pre-loved clothing and charity shops also demonstrate a commitment to promoting a circular economy through second-hand and charitable retail.

Other notable examples of green businesses include Assura, who are to redevelop their entire 35,000 sq ft building at 3 Barrington Road to showcase modern, low-carbon construction methods with a rooftop amenity space and a planted wall. The retrofit aims to be the first NABERS UK-rated office refurbishment in the North West.

Some of the planting work done by Altrincham in Bloom by the Interchange

Local law firm MLP Law has just achieved Carbon Neutral status by offsetting over and above their calculated emissions as part of their commitment to environmental sustainability and improvement.

Planit-IE and Rumpus PR both have B Corp status, having achieved voluntary certification for meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance.

Mandy White, Altrincham BID Director, said: "We are thrilled that Altrincham BID’s entry on behalf of the town was successful.

"This accolade is testament to the hard work and commitment of Altrincham’s many green businesses and sustainability champions, as well as those who have brought large-scale, sustainable, public and private sector projects and developments to fruition including Trafford Council and Bruntwood.

The old House of Fraser building is currently being repurposed into a mixed-use space, including a 375 sq m HYVERT living wall

"Thank you to those who supported the application by providing additional information – it is an incredible example of partnership working. Winning this award will allow us to invest further and support green initiatives in our community.”

Mandy Lamb, Managing Director UK & Ireland at Visa, said: “At Visa, we’re committed to uplifting economies so that everyone in the local communities they serve can benefit. This initiative places towns at the forefront of our efforts and supports Visa’s aim of nurturing growth and prosperity at a local level.”

Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, echoed Lamb’s sentiments, highlighting the significance of celebrating the diversity and contributions of UK towns.

She added: “Following its success in 2023, it is exciting to hear more examples of how areas are helping to support high streets and communities, so that best practice can be spread more widely across the country.”