Forum Centre News

Forum Centre goes solar

Wythenshawe Forum is now powered by solar electricity, with the installation of a new photovoltaic array on the building’s roof completed.  

New carbon-saving features for the popular community hub are set to reduce emissions by 121 tonnes per year, while also saving more than £50,000 in energy costs annually.  

To complement the solar array, 1,386 of the Forum’s light fittings are being upgraded to LED, reducing their energy consumption by 70 per cent, with a new and more efficient lighting control system also installed.

The upgrade is part of Manchester City Council’s ambitious £25m project to reduce carbon emissions across its estate, which is seeing retrofitting work carried out across its buildings to improve energy efficiency, save money and cut emissions - helping the city to work towards achieving its zero-carbon goal by 2038 at the latest.  

The £10m first phase of the council’s programme, to retrofit its highest emission buildings, is drawing to a close and will achieve an emissions cut of 1,600 tonnes a year.  New solar installations are underway at Moss Side Leisure Centre, Hough End Leisure Centre, East Manchester Leisure Centre, Arcadia Library & Leisure Centre, the Manchester Tennis & Football Centre, Belle Vue Leisure Centre, the Space Project and the Sharp Project.  

Work to enable a £15m second phase of the programme, which will reduce emissions by a further 3,000 tonnes a year, is now progressing.  

Since 2009/10, the city council has already reduced its annual direct carbon emissions by more than 50 per cent.  In March 2020, it agreed a landmark Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25, setting out an ambitious target to halve its emissions again in the space of just five years - from around 32,000 tonnes a year to around 16,000 tonnes a year.  

Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “This project to modernise the energy supply for Wythenshawe Forum is a great example of the work which is happening right across the city to cut carbon emissions from the council’s buildings as quickly as possible. 

"Wythenshawe Forum's solar power installation will help to reduce the council's direct carbon emissions, as part of our radical proposals to rebuild a greener Manchester in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Having declared a climate emergency, we're committed to doing everything within our power to rapidly reduce the council’s carbon emissions, in line with science-based targets which comply with the Paris Agreement."

Eddie Flanagan, chief executive of Wythenshawe Forum Trust said: “As one of Manchester’s largest public buildings and a busy community hub, it's essential that we support and contribute to the city’s carbon reduction targets.

"This has been a complex project, affecting almost all of the Forum and has needed buy-in from all of our stakeholders. We are looking forward to the new equipment and technology coming online this year, which will bring significant reductions in carbon emissions and energy costs."

Leisure facilities to close temporarily

As per the latest Government announcement, a lockdown will be put in place across Manchester from Thursday 31 December. This means that all areas of #ForumLeisure will temporarily close on 31 December.

Members will be contacted directly with more details about what this means for your membership, so please keep an eye on your inbox.
For more information and clarity on what’s closed, what remains open and everything else you need to know, see information will also be posted through Everyone Active and MCRactive online channels.

Sony Radio Award Winning presenter Susie Mathis is joining Forum Radio

Sony Radio Academy Award winning presenter Susie Mathis is joining Wythenshawe FM Community Radio to present a new Friday lunchtime show.

Former Piccadilly Radio & BBC Radio Manchester Presenter will be on air from 12 to 2pm each Friday presenting ‘That Friday Feeling with Susie’.

Susie made the surprise announcement on Wythenshawe FM during an interview on The Buzz Show with Colin Owen and Chris Paul. The first show will air on Friday 4 December.

Susie said: “It started out that I needed to do something as a volunteer, I’m bored stiff as Covid has side-lined so many of us in the events and entertainments industries. It will be great to connect once again across the local community in Wythenshawe, south Manchester and beyond and I am really looking forward to it. That Friday Feeling with Susie will be a perfect start to the weekend.”

Susie plans to bring back ‘Magic Minutes with Susie’ in the show which will be pre-recorded for the time being as the studio is closed currently due to Covid restrictions, however listeners will be still have the opportunity to speak to Susie remotely during the recording and make contact through a Facebook feed during the show.

Susie has enjoyed a successful and wholly unconventional career ranging from West End theatre and the world of music to radio broadcasting, event management and charity foundations. From fronting the first ever girl pop group in the sixties to being the first woman to host a daytime radio show in the late seventies at Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio.

Colin Owen, board member at WFM and head of programming said: “Its fantastic news that Susie wants to join us at WFM. She is such a professional with a wealth of talent and expertise to inspire our volunteers and listeners in Wythenshawe and beyond.

"I know our award-winning volunteers will be delighted to hear the news and our long-serving charity chair and radio volunteer Kath Forden will be welcoming Susie to the station on air.”

Chris Paul, acting chief executive said: “2020 has been a tough year for everyone at WFM, dealing with the Covid virus, not least for our volunteers. They have resolutely continued their community service through 50 hours each week of pre-recorded shows, bringing listeners entertainment and vital up to date information with 24/7 music, news, and features.

“I am sure Susie’s inspiring involvement will help us all build back stronger and give us a springboard to resume live broadcasting with a spring in our step when it is safe to do so.”

Wythenshawe FM is an award-winning community radio station operating from its studio within the Forum Centre. It is run entirely by volunteers and is sponsored currently by Wythenshawe Forum Trust, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group and for the current Health and Happiness campaigns, by the NHS Local Care Organisation.

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