Our city’s shared plan to tackle climate change

Manchester: A Certain Future Steering Group

The Steering Group was established in 2010 to oversee and champion the delivery of Manchester: A Certain Future, on behalf of the city’s stakeholders.  The group oversaw the development of the Manchester Climate Change Strategy for 2017-50 and is working with the Our Manchester Forum to put in place the governance required to enable the strategy’s successful delivery.

Minutes from the Steering Group’s meetings are available here.


Steering Group Members


Gavin Elliot - Chair

Gavin is director of architecture, head of Manchester studio, and head of sport for the architecture practice BDP. Gavin joined BDP straight from university and he has had the good fortune that nearly all the projects he has worked on have been built. Recent completions have been – Aintree Racecourse, Abito apartments and Devonshire Primary school – all award winners and now The Point hospitality building at the Lancashire Country Cricket Club.


Steve Merridew

Steve is Environmental Design Director and head of Sustainability at design practice BDP. Steve specialises in the design and specification of low energy buildings and infrastructure, and has been heavily involved in a number of significant developments in Manchester and the North West. He Chairs Green and Blue Infrastructure for Manchester a Certain Future, the cities climate change strategy and in 2010 founded the Manchester Garden City Initiative.


Prof. Will Swan

Will Swan is a Professor of Building Energy Performance and leads the research group. Will has a portfolio of projects including projects with DECC, the EPSRC, EU and a wide portfolio of commercial research. He was the co-Chair of Retrofit 2012 and is the co-Editor of the book from Blackwell-Wiley, Retrofitting the Built Environment, as well as author and co-author of a number of journal and conference papers. He sits on the Greater Manchester Buildings Group, is a CoRE Fellow and a Fellow of the Institute of Sustainability. Previously, he worked as part of the Centre for Construction Innovation where he advised construction clients and their supply chains on issues related to performance management and sustainable construction.


Simon Curtis

Simon Curtis has worked in theatre and event production for 20 years and is currently at the Royal Exchange Theatre as their Head of Production. He also chairs the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team a network of over 30 cultural organisations across Manchester and Salford with a shared sustainability brief . MAST report annually on their carbon emissions as a group against the MACF reduction targets.


Councillor Angeliki Stogia

Councillor Angeliki Stogia is Executive Member for Environment at Manchester City Council.


Holly Bonfield

Holly is an activist and policy representative for Federation of Small Businesses both locally and nationally, bringing member issues to Government and Local Authorities and national policy issues to Region. As part of FSB’s Employment Law Portfolio Committee, she contributes to responses to Government consultations on reducing the burdens on small businesses. As a governor for a federation of schools and trustee for a national museum, she supports organisations on strategy, structure and finance issues. She is also a director of Private Sector Partners which recently published the results of its research into how small businesses grow.

Holly is a coach, trainer and mediator, running her own organisation helping small businesses develop skills, systems and effectiveness. As an accredited mediator she supports individuals and organisations to resolve workplace and community conflict. She coordinates Manchester Mediation Network.


Simon Warburton

Simon Warburton is Interim Transport Strategy Director at Transport for Greater Manchester.


Dave Coleman

Having graduated in biochemistry, Dave began his career with Deloittes, and spent twelve years working in IT, becoming a director of one of the North West’s top IT companies. He then founded a small consultancy and spent ten years working as a management trainer and coach in the commercial sector, before co-founding Cooler Projects CIC and The Carbon Literacy Project.
After serving six years on the boards of Friends of the Earth, he chaired the “Energy” writing group of “Manchester A Certain Future”, joined the steering group at its inception and monitors the Low Carbon Culture aim.
Dave has appeared widely on BBC TV and Radio, ITV, C4 and Sky and in the regional and national press.
Besides work creating, developing and leading The Carbon Literacy Project, other recent work has included corporate advisory work on product sustainability, developing a feasibility study for a sustainable business network, and general advocacy, advisory and chairing work.

He sits on the advisory boards of the CityZen and ImREAL European projects.


Helen Seagrave

Helen is a chartered environmentalist and works for the Business Growth Hub’s Green Growth service as a low carbon market development advisor.  Helen has considerable experience of working with the low carbon and environmental sector having previously held roles as a low carbon sector development manager at the Northwest Regional Development Agency and manager of a team of low carbon sector business advisors at Envirolink Northwest.
Helen has also worked at ENWORKS as Sustainable Growth Advisor for the Environmental Sustainability Technical Assistance (ESTA) project delivering advice to the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership and overseeing the delivery of a number of research projects.  In 2014 Helen wrote the New Economy Working Paper “Powering Greater Manchester: how will we fuel our future?” which considers how Greater Manchester’s energy infrastructure can contribute towards the city region’s carbon emission reduction target.
Helen is chair of the Low Carbon Economy monitoring group and has previously overseen the re-fresh of the M:ACF action plan.


Dr. Jeremy Carter

Jeremy is a Research Fellow working at the University of Manchester. He is Co-Director of the Centre for Urban Resilience and Energy where his research interests focus on urban climate change adaptation and resilience. He has led research projects, delivered lectures and published articles on this theme. Jeremy’s research connects closely with policy makers and practitioners, and focuses on developing collaborative outputs that have impact beyond the academic community.
His external roles have included acting as adaptation theme lead during the development of Greater Manchester’s climate change strategy. He currently sits on the Northwest Climate Change Partnership and Greater Manchester’s Local Nature Partnership. He has also been appointed as an international expert to support the Committee of the Regions on their submission to the European Commission on the EU Adaptation Strategy.  He chairs the adaptation group of Manchester: A Certain Future.


Ali Abbas

Ali works three days a week as a senior business analyst for a software company and spends the rest of his time volunteering on a number of local projects. 

As well as chairing the Manchester: A Certain Future CO2 Monitoring Group, he is also chair of The Carbon Literacy Trust, a director of Greater Manchester Community Renewables, and co-ordinator and lead climate & energy campaigner at Manchester Friends of the Earth.