Contact are proud to be members of Fit for the Future, a thriving sustainability network of more than 80 organisations from the not-for-profit sector and beyond. As a collective with similar challenges, Fit for the Future members are collaborating and innovating to find practical solutions to the impacts of climate-change. Becoming sustainable means that we can save time, money and resources for the things that really matter to us, and lower the impact we have on the environment. To find out more visit


Contact is also one of the lead National Portfolio Organisations working with Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle to provide leadership in sustainability across cultural organisations nationally.

Contact is a masonry building from 1963 located on The University of Manchester campus. The redevelopment in 1999 included refitting the main auditorium from seating 232 people to seating 334 people and improving the lighting and acoustic arrangements. During the project, the decision was also made to have an assisted natural ventilation system installed and no air-conditioning, resulting in a significant reduction in energy use.

We are already recycling 100% of our waste and are checking weekly energy use against programmes to identify the impacts of different activities, so that areas for reduction can be prioritised.

Other ways in which Contact support sustainable energy:

  • We have invested in an all-electric van and charging station
  • Contact established a Green Champions scheme to support staff engagement in environmental matters
  • We have achieved a DEC rating of A for two years running
  • Our electricity supply is one supplied entirely from renewable energy sources
  • We have added environmental sustainability to the agenda for staff and board meetings
  • We continue to create a communications strategy for the public awareness programme
  • Our investment in e-tickets and digital payments has greatly reduced our paper consumption
  • Our Season Brochure is printed using vegetable ink on FSC certified paper

Making Contact More Sustainable

Improving environmental sustainability is one of the four main aims of our capital redevelopment project, Making Contact. This project is once again challenging sustainable architecture and engineering in extending a naturally-ventilated building and monitoring the effects.

New sustainability measures include newly designed and engineered natural ventilation chimneys to ventilate the new extension so that the whole building – old and new – is naturally ventilated. We are also increasing the efficiency of our existing ventilation/heating system.

A new Building Monitoring System will capture data about how our naturally ventilated building is ‘thinking and breathing’. This data will enable monitoring, optimising and fine-tuning of the building’s environmental performance to a far greater degree, resulting in greater energy and efficiency savings and strengthening sustainability over the longer term.

We’re also:

  • replacing lighting through the building with new energy-efficient LEDs including in some performance spaces
  • replacing existing water tanks with pressurisation unit and low-flow fittings to reduce water consumption
  • installing a voltage optimisation unit reducing energy consumption
  • replacing old boilers with new condensing boilers

To find out more about Contact’s building, please contact