Manchester City Council

Green Roofs and Growth Generation

Greater Manchester Combined Authority and AGMA Executive met today at Leigh Sports Village but not a very exciting agenda, the only item of note being a proposal to try and fit photo-voltaic panels to around 7,500 roofs across the city-region under a rent a roof scheme. It has to be done before next March to benefit from the current feed-in tariff, and households lucky enough to be part of the scheme will benefit from a reduction in their electricity bill. More interesting was yesterday's meeting of the informal economy group I convene every month.

Some worrying signs in the Chamber of Commerce's quarterly business survey about prospects for growth, but an excellent proposal from Manchester Solutions to establish a sub-regional growth hub, providing one-stop support to companies looking to grow. Also a paper, which will go to the next Executive meeting, reporting on the City Council's 2011 Manchester Business Survey. One particularly interesting section was on the business practices of growth companies which I've set out below:

Business planning: Growth businesses are twice as likely to have a formal business plan in place compared to non-growth businesses and twice as likely to hold regular management meetings to review plans and strategy.

Developing products and services: Growth businesses are more likely to be spending a proportion of their turnover on developing new products and market research.

Encouraging innovation: Growth businesses are more likely to be using mechanisms to encourage innovation. For example, 77.1% of growth businesses use customer feedback mechanisms, compared to 52.6% of declining businesses.

Family friendly/flexible working: Growth businesses are more likely to support a range of family friendly working practices. For example, 65.4% of growth business offer flexible working hours compared to 52.1% of declining businesses.

Training and development: Growth businesses are more likely to have a structured staff training programme and training budget. For example, 58.2% of growth businesses have a structured programme in place compared to 28.9% of declining businesses.

Broadband connectivity: Growth businesses are more likely to be connected to the internet. Around a third of non-growth businesses have no internet connection, compared to just one in ten growth businesses. 42.8% of growth businesses use social media to market their products and services opposed to 22% of non-growth businesses.

Business continuity: Growth businesses are more likely to have business continuity plans in place and tested. 43.9% of growth businesses have a tested plan in place compared 24% of declining businesses.

Think this clearly shows that growing a company and growing job numbers doesn't happen by accident, but by companies consciously doing things, and this list is a very good starting place for what to do.


There is one response to “Green Roofs and Growth Generation ”

  1. Dick Venes Says:

    The conventional 'growth' strategy does not appear to be working - maybe it's time for a change. I suggest you read 'Prosperity without Growth' by Tim Jackson for a start!



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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