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Shadow Minister meets academics and tours pioneering hub at University of Manchester

Policy@Manchester

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The Shadow Minister for Exports, Afzal Khan, has visited The University of Manchester to meet academics and tour the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub (SMI Hub) at the Henry Royce Institute, the UK’s National Centre for research and innovation of advanced materials.

Mr Khan, the Member of Parliament for Manchester Gorton, discussed the contents of

Policy@Manchester’s publication Power in Place with contributors to the collection of articles designed to inform regional decision-making.

Louisa Dawes, Senior Lecturer in Education, and Dr Carl Emery, Lecturer in Education, presented their research on local approaches to tackling child poverty, and Professor Sherilyn MacGregor, Professor of Environmental Politics, outlined ways to work towards inclusive environmental sustainability based on her work with Pakistani and Somali communities in Moss Side.

The Shadow Minister was met at the Henry Royce Institute by Dr Chloe Loveless, Senior Experimental Officer at the SMI Hub, before inspecting the pioneering facility which has supported businesses in Greater Manchester on plastics use since 2020.

Afzal Khan MP said:

“It is always a delight to visit The University of Manchester.

“The evidence-based research it produces across so many subject areas is greatly valued and has real influence on policymakers in Westminster, Whitehall and beyond. 

Power in Place is another thoroughly impressive piece of work and it was helpful to discuss some of its key recommendations with academic staff.

“I was equally impressed by the SMI Hub which was created by the Henry Royce Institute in response to the growing need to combat plastics pollution now increasingly associated with major world cities.

“It is using world-class research to develop sustainable solutions for plastics and to advise businesses on how they can better protect the environment. 

“It is excellent to know that this important work is going on in the heart of Manchester.”    

Professor Sherilyn MacGregor said:

“We welcomed the opportunity to brief Mr Khan on some of the headline policy recommendations in Power in Place and expand on our individual research projects.

“Supported by our policy engagement unit, Policy@Manchester, feeding into the policymaking process is an essential element of our research.  It is particularly useful to hear directly from politicians and decision-makers about how we can continue to inform and assist them.”

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Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

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