AN eco-innovation developed by a business and the University of Cumbria has been honoured at an awards ceremony for its role in tackling climate change.

Eco-I North West is a research and development programme that supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by giving them access to knowledge, research facilities, and innovative networks to create sustainable solutions.

The programme has already provided over 330 SMEs with these resources, which have resulted in the development of innovative solutions that will save 3,850 tonnes of CO2.

The success of the programme was celebrated at the Eco Innovation awards at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

The award for ‘Most promising new business’ went to The Rebuild Site CIC, based in Carlisle, who take surplus waste from construction sites and donate to community groups, encouraging the adoption of circular economy principles within the industry. 

They worked with the University of Cumbria to create a materials database to show how much CO2e is saved from diverting the waste from landfill, and sharing that information with customers. 

Maisie Hunt, project director, said: "We are thrilled to receive this Eco-I North West award.

"Working with the University has been invaluable in validating our model and demonstrating the carbon savings that can be achieved from keeping surplus materials in their current most usable form."

Other winners of the awards included Used Kitchen Exchange, Silverwoods Waste Management, Relic Plastic CIC, City Centre Commercials, Matthew Bond from Lancaster University, and Lee Ollerenshaw from the University of Central Lancashire.

Eco-I NW, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), was led by the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation (CGE) team at Lancaster University.

Journalist Simon Reeve has praised the research and development project.

Simon Reeve said it was ‘exciting stuff that has great potential’, adding: “We need to have those incredible ideas.

“It’s a bit like people with a really good lottery ticket that you hope is going to win and the ideas are going to fly, because, my goodness, we need them," he said.