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Liverpool engineers help African nations shift towards clean energy

LIVERPOOL engineering company Clarke Energy is helping African businesses reduce carbon emissions thanks to innovative hybrid engines. During a visit to Merseyside, International Development Minister Andrew Murrison opened a new engine repair workshop at the company, which will make power plants across Africa more efficient and support Africa's drive for clean energy. Opening the workshop, Minister Murrison met the Overhaul and Repair Centre Manager, Dave Nicholls, to see 1st hand how high efficiency gas engines are being repaired in Knowsley in Merseyside and sent back to African nations. Similar units being deployed across Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Cameroon improve the reliability of power to businesses and communities, helping to keep the lights on and power flowing in countries with unstable energy systems. Dr Murrison also announced a new DFID funded testing lab for solar products ensuring that solar panels and appliances meet global standards and households have access to good quality, reliable clean energy.  Following his visit, Minister Murrison said:- "From powering Hospitals in London to a mosque in Algeria, Clarke Energy is just 1 great example of how UK businesses; including those from Liverpool; are already leading the way in investing in Africa. Clarke Energy's investment in Africa shows how UK expertise, technology and innovation are improving access to cleaner forms of energy, which can be replicated by businesses across the UK and Africa. The UK Africa Investment Summit will forge closer trading partnerships to deliver more investment, jobs and growth benefitting people and businesses across Africa and the UK."

Touring the engineering company, Minister Murrison learned more about the business's ambition to change the future of Africa's energy supplies and the use of green energy across the continent. He heard how Clarke Energy's new power generation projects in Kano, Northern Nigeria will provide energy to businesses, reduce emissions and benefit whole communities. Alex Marshall, Director for Marketing and Compliance at Clarke Energy said:- "The knowledge the UK Government has both locally in the North West of England and across Africa is outstanding and helped us to navigate what can be a tough market with political considerations, language and cultural differences.  Being part of what's set to be the world's 3rd largest mosque is a key milestone in our exporting journey and our work with the UK Government has been core to that success. If a business from Knowsley can export on such a large scale, with the right support and hard work, anyone can make a success of trading overseas."

The visit comes ahead of the UK Africa Investment Summit, held in London on 20 January 2020, which will bring together UK and African leaders, businesses, and entrepreneurs. By 2050, more than 2 billion people will live in Africa and 1 in 4 global consumers will be African. Businesses like Clarke Energy are ensuring that the British economy is seizing this opportunity and are investing in the trading partners of the future today.

Liverpool all booked up for Year of Reading

Get ready to turn a new page in 2020 – Liverpool is gearing up for the Year of Reading.

ON Tuesday, 21 January 2020, organisations and Schools from across the City will be gathering at Liverpool Central Library to officially launch a 12 month celebration that's set to get everyone enjoying the magic of reading. Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has designated 2020 to be the year of #LiverpoolReads in a bid to improve literacy across the City. And everyone will be encouraged to get involved. Whether it's parents reading to the youngest children to get them excited about stories, or grown ups who may not have picked up a book since they left School there will be something for everyone throughout the year. The launch will kickstart #LiverpoolReads and it will be a celebration of the work of organisations and Schools in Liverpool which are already inspiring people to spend some quality time with the written word. Partners working with Liverpool City Council include Edge Hill University, The Reader, Liverpool Learning Partnership, and Comics Youth, a Liverpool based creative community organisation that supports marginalised young people across the City Region. #LiverpoolReads is also supported by national charity the Reading Agency which promotes the benefits of reading for children and adults across the country. 

Cllr Barbara Murray, cabinet member for education, employment and skills, said:- "We're very excited to be able to launch #LiverpoolReads and we're looking forward to 12 months of working together with our partners to get everyone's head in a book! We want everyone in the City to discover, or re-discover, the joys of reading for pleasure but, where we can, we also want that pleasure to have a purpose; it is so important to read with children as soon as possible and we will be working with children's centres later in the year. Reading is now a vital life skill that everyone must have to be successful in life; whether it's using online services or getting texts from friends, and we will be using all avenues open to us this year to create a City of confident, engaged readers."

Speakers at the event include:-

►  Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson.

►  Tim Quinn, former writer, artist and editor at DC Thomson and Marvel, now of Mighty Quinn Management.

►  Tony Lloyd, chief executive of the ADHD Foundation.

►  Hayley Butler, head of marketing and communications at the Reading Agency.

►  Jude Lennon, children's author.

Upcoming initiatives will see the launch of a 'My 1st Library Card' for children next month, sponsored by Edge Hill University, as well as a reading competition backed by Kathryn Jackson, Lead Governor on the Council of Governors at Alder Hey Children's Foundation Hospital Trust. Construction company Willmott Dixon is sponsoring refreshments for the launch which are supplied by Wirral based surplus food charity Neo Community. To keep up to date on #LiverpoolReads please visit:- Liverpool.Gov.UK. And also follow #LiverpoolRoad on social media.

Debbie Hicks MBE, creative director, the Reading Agency:- "The Reading Agency is delighted to support Liverpool's Year of Reading 2020 because we too are passionate about getting everyone reading for pleasure and enjoying the benefits this can bring. We can't wait to come to the City and we will also be back at Central Library to celebrate the re-launch of our Quick Reads programme with a public panel event on 18 February. Quick Reads brings great stories by best selling authors to less confident readers as well as to regular readers who want to try something new. It's a great way to start the year using the proven power of reading to change lives."

Dr Helen O'Keeffe, associate dean in the Faculty of Education, Edge Hill University, said:- "We are very proud to be working in partnership with Liverpool City Council to support Liverpool's Year of Reading. Reading for pleasure and a love of reading is central to Edge Hill University's work with the next generation of teachers and those going on to work with children and young people in our local communities. Reading opens many doors and has the potential to break down so many barriers. We know this from experience through the Big Read campaign we run on campus every year where each 1st year undergraduate student receives a special Edge Hill edition of a book title before starting the University to make them feel welcome and encourage community building. We believe that #LiverpoolReads will make a positive difference across the City, it will be a year of celebration and opportunity for everyone, whatever they are reading, and we look forward to being a part of it."

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