On course for a green future

MERCi (Manchester Environmental Resource Centre initiative) has always been more than a building project and we began 4 years ago by looking at how we could make Manchester more equitable, healthy and green.

The project originates from the environmental grassroots movement and we acknowledge the need for support and premises for those groups at the frontline of social change.

Progress is staggering and five months since we began our community-build program we have seen a huge transformation in both the physical building and in the day to day attitudes and aspirations of all those involved.

The building is taking shape at an amazing rate. The seventeen trainees have been working and learning hard to lay floor boards, partition the second floor into eleven offices, assemble and install the wooden windows, as well as learning other practical skills for their joinery qualification.

We have also seen the initial designs for the disabled access ramp in the garden leading down to the new entrance.

An interior design working group have drawn up plans for the colour scheme within the building with proposals for furniture made from reclaimed wood, drapes made from natural fibres like unbleached cotton and hemp. Paints and wood stains made from natural pigments and dyes. And a forest of plants!

The solar panels will be going up on the roof over the autumn to help power the building.

Interest in the building is growing, a day does not go by without an unexpected visitor, a coach party or a dozen enquiring phone calls. More and more volunteers are getting involved and future tenants have chosen their offices.

If you have not been to visit the Centre or met our trainees we urge you to do so soon.

MERCi (0161 273 1736, merci@bridge-5.org)

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© Networking Newsletter (Sept 2000)