Manchester Airport announces shortlist for £25,000 school eco-garden competition


·        Manchester Airport’s Community Trust Fund celebrates 25th Anniversary with Eco-Garden competition

·        £40,000 to give away to local schools for outdoor learning spaces

·        Six schools shortlisted for top prize of £25,000, with 2nd place prize of £10,000 and 3rd place prize of £5,000 also on offer

·        More than £24,000 also awarded to community projects at Community Trust Fund’s latest quarterly meeting

·        Find out more at www.manchesterairport.co.uk/community

One of six shortlisted local primary schools is set to land a £25,000 grant for a new eco-friendly outdoor learning space, courtesy of a competition run by Manchester Airport’s Community Trust Fund.

Primary schools within a 10-mile radius of the airport – an area which covers parts of Trafford, Manchester, Stockport, Tameside and Cheshire – were invited to submit a proposal for outlining how they would spend the funds on an ‘eco-garden’, designed to act as a learning aid and to promote environmental awareness among pupils.

A total of 22 schools applied, with pupils producing a video explaining their plans, and these were whittled down to six finalists;

-        Cheadle Catholic Infant & Junior School, Stockport

-        Newall Green Primary School, Wythenshawe

-        Brooklands Primary School, Sale

-        Bexton Primary School, Knutsford

-        Peover Superior Endowed Primary School, Knutsford

-        Lum Head Primary School, 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 Tuesday 6 December. They will be asked to prepare a pitch to the trustees, and are encouraged to be creative with their proposals.

Pupils will also get 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.

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 MP 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 is incredibly important and it is good to see it front and centre of Manchester Airport’s community initiative.”

The Community Trust Fund is overseen by the airport and managed by a committee of independent trustees, including airport colleagues and local councillors. 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.

The airport contributes £100,000 per year to the fund and trustees meet on a quarterly basis to consider pledges up to £3,000, with applications welcomed from community groups or charities based within 10 miles of the airport.

The latest quarterly meeting was held last month, with over £24,000 pledged to community groups and good causes.

Friends of College Wood in Knutsford was given over £1,700 for new information boards as part of a regeneration effort.

One of the group’s organisers, Malcolm Thomas, said: “Our newly formed Knutsford charity seeks to protect and enhance this previously overgrown and neglected community woodland.

“This grant from the airport, for interpretation boards at the entrances to the woods, will enlighten visitors on the tree species, birds, insects, fungi and plant life to be found within this wildlife corridor and explain why they are important”.

Café Unity, a volunteer-led community café in Heald Green, will receive more than £2,700 for a new industrial dishwasher. Manager Sarah Miller said: “Being awarded the funding to replace our dishwasher was an enormous help to keep our community café open and running smoothly through the winter.

“Without the generous donation from the Manchester Airport Community Trust Fund we simply would not have been able to afford a replacement during these financially uncertain times.”

Information on how to apply for a Community Trust Fund grant, and the full criteria, can be found here.

October 2022 – Community Trust Fund grants



Award (£)


Wythenshawe FM



Replacement broadcast equipment

Betel UK



Gardening equipment

Styal FC



New seating

Together for Theatre



Mixing desk

South Manchester Down Syndrome Support Group

Hulme/West Didsbury


Equipment including: speakers, special pencil grips, bubble machines, projectors, balls, blankets, lights and books

David Lewis College

Alderley Edge


Tree planting equipment

Handforth Junior Youth Club



New storage facility

Friends of College Wood



Information boards

Altrincham Table Tennis Social Group



Table Tennis equipment

Happy Somedays



Football and fitness equipment

Ho Shin Do Youth Project



Training equipment for Martial Arts

Marple Youth Project



Paints; anti-vandal varnish for mural in skate park

Café Unity

Heald Green


Industrial dishwasher

Community Computers

Shaw Heath


Lockable storage cases

The Indian Choir



Traditional Indian musical instruments