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Issue Date:- 2 June 2008


WHEN the shows Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing on Ice hit the UK TV screens, dancing saw a surge in popularity and a new craze for dance classes has taken the UK by storm.  

To put all these new found skills to the test, The Printworks will be hosting the biggest dance competition in the North West this summer – Dancing in the Street.    A heat will take place each week showcasing a different style of dance, culminating in a glittering grand final dance off with a top celebrity judge.

Contestants will have to submit a short video clip of themselves in action as an audition.   This can be uploaded onto the specially created Facebook page, Entries can also be email or posted to Dancing In The Street, Brazen House, 27 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, M4 5AJ.    The audition clips will be judged and the top 8 entries in each category will be invited to the Printworks to perform two dances in a live heat in the Pumpyard.   The heat schedule will take place as follows:-

* 21 June 2008 – Swing, including jazz and rock n roll

* 29 June 2008 – Street dance, including hip hop, breakdancing and popping

* 5 July 2008 – Contemporary, including modern, tap, ballet, ballroom, Latin American

* 12 July 2008 – Disco, including freestyle

Katie Hare Printworks spokesperson says:- “We look forward to receiving auditions from as many different styles of dancing as possible.  

We would like this competition to truly reflect the range of talent in the North West, from old to young, from ballet to breakdance, tap to the tango, swing to street dance and foxtrot to freestyle.     With this range of talent on display it will also be a great day out for all the family.”

UK almost 1,500 years behind Germany on solar panels

THE UK has made such little progress in 'greening' the nation's housing stock that, at the current rate, it will take almost 1,500 years to catch up with the number of domestic solar panels installed in Germany; the National Housing Federation has warned.    Derek Long, head of North region at the Federation, says at the present rate of domestic installation of three megawatts per year, it will not be until the year 3452 that the UK matches Germany's present capacity of 3,800 megawatts.

In 2007, the UK installed just 270 domestic solar panel systems, whereas Germany installed 130,000.   At the current rate, it will also take the UK 46 years to catch up with Germany's wind power capacity.    Derek Long says the introduction of alternative building methods is being held back by the Government's lack of commitment to the greener homes agenda.   He says that supply chains of sustainable materials in the UK are 'patchy and expensive'.

The Federation believes the main problem is that while ministers are compelling housing associations to build to tough, environmental standards, private developers, who build around 75% of new homes, are not obliged to build above minimum building standards.   The Government has said it will not ask private house builders to begin cutting carbon emissions until 2010.

Derek Long said:- "Until private developers are compelled to build homes to higher energy efficiency standards, the green technology industry will effectively remain on standby." He added:- "The Government is seriously hindering the sustainable housing agenda."

In Germany, the green technology industry is so substantial that 250,000 people are employed in solar energy alone.   In the UK, the comparative figure is just 25,000.   As a result of the bigger scale in Germany, solar panels there are half the price.

The Federation warned that because of its twin-track approach, the Government could miss its 2016 target to ensure that all newly built homes are zero carbon - as private developers are now so far behind in the use of green building materials, such as solar panels, ground source heat pumps and wind turbines that they will find it difficult to catch up.

Derek Long said:- "Without a renewed commitment to sustainable housing, there is a very real danger the Government will miss its own target of making all new homes zero carbon by 2016.

There is simply not enough political will or progress in the industry at present to indicate otherwise."

He added that because the Government had failed to get tough with private developers, and compel them to slash emissions at the same rate as housing associations, 8.5m tonnes of carbon; the equivalent of 11m passenger flights across the Atlantic; will needlessly be emitted into the environment by the 300,000 new homes due to be built by private developers over the next 2 years.

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