Manchester Airport shortlists six primary schools for £25,000 eco-garden competition

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Manchester Airport in the UK has shortlisted six local primary schools for its £25,000 (US$30,200) school eco-garden competition.

Primary schools within a 16km radius of the airport – an area that covers parts of Trafford, Manchester, Stockport, Tameside and Cheshire – were invited to submit a proposal outlining how they would spend the funds on an eco-garden to act as a learning aid and promote environmental awareness among pupils. Twenty-two schools applied, with pupils producing videos explaining their plans. One of the six shortlisted local primary schools will win the £25,000 grant for a new eco-friendly outdoor learning space, courtesy of Manchester Airport’s Community Trust Fund.

The six finalists are Cheadle Catholic Infant & Junior School in Stockport, Newall Green Primary School in Wythenshawe, Brooklands Primary School in Sale, Bexton Primary School in Knutsford, Peover Superior Endowed Primary School in Knutsford and Lum Head Primary School in Gatley.

These schools have now been invited to a Grand Final event under the wings of the Concorde at the airport’s Runway Visitor Park on December 6. They will be asked to prepare a pitch to the trustees and are encouraged to be creative with their proposals. Pupils will have the chance to rehearse their pitch during a visit from a mentor, who will provide feedback on the plans and guidance to the pupils on presentation techniques.

The Community Trust Fund is overseen by the airport and managed by a committee of independent trustees, including airport colleagues and local councilors. It was established as part of the terms for the construction of the airport’s second runway in 1997, under a Section 106 agreement with local authorities.

Chris Woodroofe, managing director at Manchester Airport, said, “I’d like to congratulate our six finalists but also thank each and every school that took the time to craft and submit an application, whether they have ultimately made the shortlist or not. We were blown away by the ingenuity, creativity and passion for the environment on display from young people across the region. Each and every one did tremendously well with their applications, and I know our judges had a tough time picking out six finalists. Those finalists are now one step away from securing a sizeable pot of funding to produce an outdoor learning space that will have a legacy for years to come. We look forward to welcoming them to our Runway Visitor Park next month and I’m sure choosing a winner will prove even tougher.”

Mike Kane, the MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, added, “Congratulations to the six shortlisted schools that are through to the final of Manchester Airport’s 25th anniversary Community Trust Fund competition. It is great to hear that so many local children have had the opportunity to put their ideas forward to improve their school grounds. The environment and biodiversity are incredibly important and it is good to see them front and center in Manchester Airport’s community initiative.”

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