The Science and Industry Museum has been awarded £4.3m by the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to transform the museum’s environmental sustainability and place zero carbon technology at the heart of its visitor experience.
The museum explores how ideas can change the world, from the industrial revolution to today and beyond, on a globally significant industrial heritage site. In the 1800s, a well was built (in the lower ground floor of the world’s first railway warehouse, the museum’s Grade I listed 1830 Warehouse) to harness the power of the ground water. This natural resource will now once again be utilised by the installation of a new water source heat pump network including bore holes along with the latest green technologies.
This is a visionary, sector-leading project where the original and modern combine for a sustainable museum of the future.
The funding will enable an annual reduction in CO2 emissions for the museum of 515 tonnes (equivalent to the average C02 emissions of over 30 UK homes per year) on completion of the works, improving every year as the electricity grid decarbonises through increased zero carbon generation. It will support the Science Museum Group’s goal to reach a net zero target of 2033 (announced today as 17 years ahead of the national target) and Greater Manchester’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2038 (12 years ahead of the national target).
£2.6 million will enable the Power Hall (currently undergoing urgent restoration thanks to £6million from the DCMS) to reduce C02 emissions by 60% by 2030 through enhanced roof insulation and glazing to improve energy efficiency, an electric boiler and water source heat pumps to heat the space and now power the historic engines sustainably, and a new building management system to monitor and control energy use of this iconic gallery.
The funding will place carbon literacy and zero carbon technology at the heart of the museum’s story and visitor experience. It will transform the Power Hall into a landmark symbol of the future, as well as of historic engineering. As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester and the industrial heritage buildings of the museum (including the Power Hall) were the catalyst for scientific innovation and unprecedented change worldwide. Powered by fossil fuel, past industry has been a major cause of climate change, the most pressing challenge facing our planet. Now, the Power Hall will help prime future progress through inspiring future scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators in developing careers and skills to help achieve a green economy and the next (green) industrial revolution.
£1.7 million investment site-wide will pave the way for total electrification of the entire museum’s heating system, through additional an air source heat pump and a new electricity substation, enabling the museum to increase power to its seven-acre site sustainably (with 100% of electricity already purchased from renewable sources). Additional measures include LED lighting for the historic 1830 warehouse and instant hot water and a new building management system to monitor and control energy use of the New Warehouse which will enable a 65% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 of this key space which houses the main visitor welcome, Revolution Manchester, Textiles and Special Exhibitions galleries and the museum’s shops, café, bistro and conference centre.
Director Sally MacDonald said: “The museum’s site represents where science met industry and the modern world began – what happened here changed the world, triggering a revolution in trade, technology, travel and time. We are delighted that this funding will enable us to continue to innovate as we create an environmentally sustainable museum for the future.”
Edward Clark, Programme Manager at Salix Finance, said: “We’re really pleased that the Science and Industry Museum has benefited from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. Installing multiple technologies, including air and water source heat pumps, roof insulation and glazing across several sites is a great step for the museum towards reaching their carbon management plans and net-zero target.”