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University of Hull teams up with National Youth Theatre to put climate change on centre stage

The University of Hull is supporting the National Youth Theatre to bring climate change to the big stage in an epic new production.

‘MELT’ hopes to shine a light on the devastating impact climate change is having on our planet, exploring one of the biggest challenges facing society.

It aims to encourage more people to pursue careers in the offshore wind energy sector, as well as build flood resilience and knowledge within communities.

Leading climate scientists from the University’s Energy and Environment Institute, alongside experts in human geography, performing arts and other specialists will work with creative talent from the National Youth Theatre over the coming months to help bring MELT to life.

Professor Dan Parsons, Director of the Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull, said: “We are excited to be working with the National Youth Theatre on the production of MELT.

“Its aims in communicating the impacts of climate change and sea level rise, align very closely with the University’s vision that seeks a brighter, fairer, carbon neutral future for our global society - alongside our target of becoming the first net zero university campus in Europe.”

The University of Hull is committed to help combat climate change and its impacts through world-leading research, education and by mobilising the power of communities.

The University’s Energy & Environment Institute has grown from a team of two to almost 100 researchers, working together to innovate and find solutions to the global problem.

From leading international research in some of the world’s most at-risk areas to flooding – including in Vietnam’s Mekong and Red River deltas – to investigating the devastating impact of the 2007 and 2013 floods in Hull, the University is now using its expertise to inspire the next generation.

Professor Lucy Mazdon, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education at the University, said “We are thrilled to be collaborating with NYT on the production of MELT.

“The Creative Industries, Drama and performance have a proud history at the University of Hull and continue to be central to our activities and strategic vision.

“Working with NYT is a fantastic opportunity to share experience and inspiration.”

Climate change remains one of society’s greatest long-term challenge.

Located in the low-lying Humber region, the University is acutely aware of the consequences of rising sea levels and catastrophic flooding.

The University’s research into the devastating floods of 2007, which forced tens of thousands of people out of their homes and businesses, was core to the Pitt Review, and has helped set UK flood policy for the last decade.

The University also hosts the Flood Innovation Centre, a £3.5 million centre focused on research and innovation, addressing flood risk, aiding industry and businesses in innovating to address the challenge.

Crucially, a University partnership with Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is also driving a bid for Ark, a £15m National Flood Resilience Centre to help communities become more resilient to flooding.

Ark will drive world-leading research and innovation into floods, and provide specialist education and training for flood experts and emergency responders in a controlled environment which simulates urban and rural flood events.

The Humber region has developed to become a global centre for offshore wind energy.

The University supports development and sustainability in this key industry through its sector-leading collaboration, Aura.

Louise Smith, Director at Aura, said “Now more than ever before, we need to work together to transform the way we live and work, to find solutions to the challenges brought about by climate change. 

“Through the University of Hull’s Aura partnership in the Humber, we are shaping the future of offshore wind and low carbon energy through collaboration and innovation.

“This creative approach provides a fantastic opportunity to inspire the brightest, creative young minds to join a new green energy industry; to be part of a smart, skilled, diverse workforce – helping us to make brilliant ideas come to life, to bring the region together to shape a sustainable future for all the community.”

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