Navigation

News and events

House of Lords celebrates student green initiative

16 May 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Parliament welcomes UCLan students 

Students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have visited the House of Lords for a celebratory event to acknowledge the work they’re doing to embed greater sustainability into the University.

The UCLan representatives were joined by students from 24 other UK universities for the day-long event which celebrated 25 National Union of Students (NUS) Student Green Fund projects that are taking place in universities and colleges across the country.

David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, Lord Redesdale, and Steve Egan, Deputy Chief executive for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) attended the event which showcased the creativity, diversity, green credentials and business acumen of students’ unions across the country.

All projects involved in the scheme need to offer enterprising and innovative approaches to reducing our collective dependence on carbon. UCLan’s Green Ladder initiative, funded by a £200,000 injection from the NUS, will see four areas of the Preston campus transformed into green areas with an emphasis around reducing environmental impact by growing vegetables, improving biodiversity and using recycled materials.

The first area, the Secret Garden in the heart of the campus, is currently being transformed from a previously over-grown plot of land next to Foster Building into an idyllic area for visitors with fruit trees, green surroundings and comfortable outdoor seating. The other three sites are due for development later in the year and each one will be entirely student-led.

“We’ve placed a big emphasis on embedding sustainability into the initiative and we are already seeing the benefits it can bring by providing valuable employability skills for our students and strengthening community links.”

From Left to Right: Professor Gerry Kelleher, UCLan Vice Chancellor, UCLan Students’ Union Campaigns Officer Sophie Bennett, UCLan Students’ Union President Ben Latham, Emma Bartlet, Green Ladder Project Manager, UCLan Students’ Union General Manager Peter Shilton Godwin and Mark Lee, UCLan Students’ Union Council Member.

Ben Latham, Sophie Bennett, Mark Lee, Emma Bartlet and Peter Shilton Godwin from the UCLan Students’ Union were joined by Professor Gerry Kelleher, UCLan Vice Chancellor, at the parliamentary event.

Emma Bartlet, Green Ladder Project Manager, commented: “It’s fantastic that our students have been invited to the House of Lords to celebrate their efforts in making the UCLan Green Ladder project a success.

“We’ve placed a big emphasis on embedding sustainability into the initiative and we are already seeing the benefits it can bring by providing valuable employability skills for our students and strengthening community links.”

Toni Pearce, NUS President, said: “We knew that the opportunity to be awarded up to £300,000 to drive greening projects would be extremely popular because students and students' unions have long been dedicated to doing what they can to adopt pro-environmental behaviours, and to be part of a wider movement towards global sustainability.

“I’m so proud of everyone that has taken part in this programme. The 25 projects which we have supported over the last two years are truly transformative initiatives; projects which will put English higher education on the map for its world-leading sustainability credentials.”

Using £5 million of funding from HEFCE, NUS has helped 25 students’ unions from across England to develop proposals for ambitious green projects, leading to step-changes in pro-environmental behaviour across higher education.

For more information about The UCLan Green Ladder Project visit www.greenladderproject.org