Garic demonstrate drive to decarbonise, with visit from local MP and Conservative Environment Network Champion Christian Wakeford

From L-R: Garic's Ian Newton and Christian Wakeford MP.

  • Christian Wakeford, MP for Bury South and member of the influential Conservative Environment Network, visited local rail site Garic to learn more about the industry’s decarbonisation efforts.
  • As well as meeting workers and apprentices on the ground, Wakeford was also given a hands-on demonstration of how Garic’s eco-friendly solutions are helping the drive to decarbonise transport projects.
  • Visit is part of RIA’s Rail Fellowship Programme, bringing MPs and Parliamentarians onto railway sites across the UK

6 September 2021

Member of the Conservative Environment Network Christian Wakeford has visited constituency business Garic to learn more about their environmental efforts and work boosting local skills.

Wakeford met with workers at Garic, including directors and apprentices, and experienced a demonstration of their eco-friendly products such as welfare units, lighting, and ‘armadillos’, which Garic have transformed or developed to reduce their environmental impact. 

Earlier this year, Wakeford became a Public Transport Champion as part of the Conservative Environment Network’s Net Zero Champions initiative. In his role, Wakeford has continued to campaign to make the UK transport system greener. Through the visit, he has demonstrated his support for a local business pushing for the same cause. 

Garic also showcased how they collaborate with local students to develop local skills, through Manchester Business School and local universities and provide the opportunities for apprentices to build their skills at the company. 

The visit was part of the Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) programme Rail Fellowship Programme, which encourages MPs to gain hands-on experience of the rail sector, with site visits taking place in their local area. Since physical visits restarted after the 2021 Covid-19 lockdown, the programme has focused on a number of issues, including how rail can support the UK target to reach Net Zero by 2050. Last month, Conservative MP Lee Anderson visited Van Elle in his constituency to learn about their railway electrification projects.

RIA have long been vocal in campaigning on decarbonisation, with their RailDearb21 campaign, launched this year, calling for the Government to begin a rolling programme of electrification and low carbon trains, such as battery and hydrogen. 

Christian Wakeford, Member of Parliament for Bury South, said:  “It was fantastic to visit the local rail site Garic to learn more about the industry’s decarbonisation efforts. Many businesses are already embracing the need to decarbonise their operations, and the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan will help businesses with confidence and clarity on the steps they must take on the pathway to net zero.

“As a Conservative Environment Network Net Zero Champion, I look forward to working in partnership with the Government and businesses on future action and strategies to realise the net zero ambition together.”

Max Sugarman, Public Affairs Director at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “The Rail Fellowship Programme brings Parliamentarians together with members of their local rail supply chain, to showcase the work our sector is doing to provide clean transport across the country.” 

“Reaching Net Zero is a crucial target for the UK, and one which rail has a pivotal role to play. By getting passengers and freight onto the railway network, and delivering electrification schemes and low carbon self-powered trains like battery and hydrogen, UK rail can lead the way in reducing emissions and providing an even greener form of mass transit.

“We are proud that the Programme has facilitated these vital discussions on reducing our emissions and showcased a business that is supporting these decarbonisation efforts. We would like to thank Christian Wakeford MP and Garic for making this visit possible.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Mark Albiston, CEO of Garic, said: “The visit was a great opportunity for us to showcase Garic’s range of low carbon products and how we are supporting the rail industry on their decarbonisation journey. Our eco credentials and reducing emissions is something we’re really passionate about so it was great to talk in length to Christian, who was equally as passionate, about how we’re helping our customers on their journey to Net Zero – and of course about our own journey too. 

“It was encouraging to talk about job creation opportunities within Garic and the wider industry too. We’re continually looking at ways to bring in new talent to the business, in turn strengthening our industry’s capabilities, and talking about our apprenticeship programme with Christian was really insightful.” 

Notes to Editors


  1. Safety remains RIA’s top priority and all visits will continue to follow Covid-safe guidelines, in line with site protocols.
  2. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry. 
  3. About Garic: Garic is one of the most trusted welfare & site equipment providers in the country. Our customers want the right equipment, fit for purpose, ready to go to work, safely and reliably. They want it delivered on time and collected efficiently at the end of the hire. At Garic, that’s what we do for thousands of customers every day and we’ve been delivering these high standards for more than 30 years. People are the most important part of our business; we deliver on our objectives by living our Values (Be better, Be innovative, Do the right thing, Trust each other, Work together). We give people the right environment, role & tools to deliver excellence and quality in everything we do. 
    We’re also passionate about providing eco solutions for our customers. We were the first to produce a Solar Loo and a Welfare Van – so sustainability has always been at the heart of our business. The global drive to Carbon Zero is only enhancing the path we’re already someway down.

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