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2022 saw the launch of Plant, an exciting initiative that aims to inspire a new generation of urban gardeners and bring more biodiversity and beneficial green spaces to the city.

Social impact led placemaking spans further than the physical public realm and Plant is a great example of this. Positively impacting people’s day-to-day lives through gardening in the city, the initiative has created something that everyone can enjoy and benefit from, even if they are not directly participating.

Plant is an integral part of the overall NOMA proposition. As well as elevating and setting NOMA apart from the competition, it’s a way of connecting people with place, with nature and with each other, which resonates well with the growing business community.

Plant NOMA started as a 3-year project backed by NOMA’s investors and supported by Federated Hermes.

The initiative has flourished and grown beyond the boundaries of the NOMA neighbourhood, becoming a new Co-operative Community Interest Company (CIC) in 2023.

‘Plant’ now creates gardens and encourages people to garden the city with them. It’s an exemplar of an innovative social impact initiative which creates positive impact alongside positive returns.”

Plant – The story so far

Promoting Inclusivity:
Plant has brought together 100’s of people including community gardeners, urbanists, designers, researchers and artists from the ages of 3 to 80 years old. Local specialist interest groups, schools and charities have all taken part in the initiative and continue to engage regularly to this day.

Cultivating long-term partnerships:
In partnership with The National Trust, Manchester Metropolitan University and The Prince’s Trust, Plant delivered 100 days of community gardening workshops, planted 160 trees and engaged 563 city children in nature-based activities during its first year.

Measurable impact metrics:
PLANT has created a pioneering approach to urban landscaping which moves away from low maintenance and uniformity,  to nurture and variety, increasing Biodiversity by 54% in just 2 years.

Other ESG outputs are measured using three pillars – Shared Futures • Local Connections • Liveable City, via the Social Value Portal, anecdotal evidence will also be recorded at regular intervals.

Long Term benefits:
Plant is now a CIC and its long-term effects will be felt beyond boundary of NOMA and throughout the City of Manchester for years to come. Plant connects people with place, with nature and with each other.