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£10K Green Power Challenge Announced By Festival Of Thrift

4 May 2022

Businesses from the Tees Valley, North Yorkshire and across the North East are being asked to put their green thinking caps on to create a sustainable source of power for part of Festival of Thrift’s large-scale event at Kirkleatham on 24 and 25 September 2022.


A £10,000 prize is on offer for the winning design from the Festival of Thrift £10k Green Power Challenge, launched today by the organisers of the UK’s nationally acclaimed celebration of sustainable living in partnership with Teesside University and Creative Fuse North East.

The net zero design challenge will bring together local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and students to work together at a Tees Valley-based venue in a one-day design sprint format on 27 May 2022, to explore innovative design solutions to green power one aspect of the festival site.

A prototype of the winning design will be developed for use at this year’s Festival of Thrift with a grant of £10,000 by Anglo American, owner of the Woodsmith Project, the polyhalite mine being developed on the North Yorkshire coast. Creative Fuse North East, which provides collaborative support from the five North East universities for the creative economy, will provide product development support.

Festival of Thrift Executive Director, Emma Whitenstall, explained that the £10k Green Power Challenge was created as part of the Festival’s environmental sustainability policy.

‘’At Festival of Thrift our focus has always been on how we as individuals can make those small changes, the shift to thrift, that will add up to a big difference for the future of our planet, and encouraging others to join in.
“As an organisation, we have pledged to challenge ourselves to do more to minimise our own carbon footprint and work towards delivering a net zero festival, and this challenge is just one strand of our ambitious sustainability strategy.  We are really excited to be working with SMEs and students from across the North East to explore some innovative ideas to help us achieve our goals.’’

“We are proud to support such a worthwhile initiative that will hopefully deliver a more sustainable future for this popular festival, whilst providing businesses and students in the area with a unique opportunity to take up this challenge to develop an innovative design solution,” said Gareth Edmunds, Anglo American’s Corporate Relations Director.

Sharon Paterson, Associate Dean Enterprise and Business Engagement/ Associate Director MIMA also said of the project:

“Teesside University is delighted to be partnering with Festival of Thrift in hosting and delivering this exciting Design Challenge. Net Zero is a key priority in the University’s Research Strategy and April 2023 will see the completion of  an innovative new £13.1m facility dedicated to research in this field. The Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre (NZIIC) is a key component of Tees Valley Combined Authority’s regional innovation strategy, which will position Teesside firmly at the heart of the UK’s green industrial revolution.
“Through the work of our  multi- disciplinary Creative Fuse team we are supporting Festival of Thrift to realise the dynamic potential of creativity and innovation which brings businesses and students together to collaborate in a Net Zero design challenge that has real significance for outdoor festivals and events nationally.”

The Festival of Thrift £10k Green Power Challenge is open to SMEs based in the Tees Valley, North Yorkshire or the North East. A full day facilitated design sprint will take place on Friday 27 May at a Tees Valley-based venue from 9.30am to 5.30pm and each business (up to 2 attendees) will be paired with a student as a team on the day.

Participants will be guided through a fast-paced design sprint-style workshop to develop innovative solutions to the brief.  At the end of the day, the strongest idea will be presented to a panel of experts who will select the design which will receive an Innovation Fund of £10,000 for development of a prototype over the coming months.

For further information and to apply:

Read the brief here