Theatres and live music venues have been closed in the UK since we entered the first lockdown earlier this year with those in the industry being out of work from then until the foreseeable future. Taking a key initiative sound engineer Andrew Glassford has set up a scheme retraining workers to insulate and upgrade homes to combat against climate breakdown.

Joiners, technicians and stage hands from across Manchester and the north-west are now using their skills to do-over homes including fitting windows, installing insulating and upgrading heating systems.

Glassford set up the scheme named Retrofit Get In in September, partnering with Red Co-op – a cooperative dedicated to retrofitting buildings. So far around a dozen theatre staff have been hired with plans to expand the programme and give opportunity for training to more unemployed theatre staff.

“I am really proud and pleased with what we have achieved, just for the fact that I have been able to get my friends work that is meaningful, that helps them but also helps tackle the climate crisis.” Andrew Glassford stated.

The Retrofit Get In campaign has had no government or council funding however Glassford hopes politicians will see the benefits and will choose to offer support in the future. This year, the UK government introduced a £3bn green homes grant to kickstart retrofitting but the scheme has failed to begin due to the lack of installers and buildings signing up.

Image credit: Christopher Thomond / The Guardian