Rochdale business leads way on smart city tech

Date published: 24 November 2020

A Rochdale engineering company is being held up as an example to other small and medium-sized businesses across Greater Manchester of what can be achieved by focusing on new technologies that will help create cleaner and smarter places to live and work.

The success of Aquacheck Engineering, a supplier of precision-engineered components for the water industry, and based on Royle Barn Road, is to feature at a major new event exploring how local businesses can achieve growth by focusing on the new era of smart city technology.

The Rochdale firm has been able to reach global markets and have won awards for adapting the design of standard standpipes – something on which we all rely for our water supply. Standpipes had remained largely unchanged for decades.

Aquacheck developed a new smart water standpipe that utility companies can use to monitor water usage, location, flow, pressure and much more. This 21st century standpipe is connected to the web and prevents companies from losing revenue from unaccounted water loss.

Sustainable Cities and Infrastructure takes place online on 25 November and has been created by MIDAS, Greater Manchester’s inward investment agency and the GC Business Growth Hub. The event seeks to connect small businesses with larger firms and academics to encourage collaboration. The organisers are reaching out across a broad range of businesses in the region, including traditional manufacturing, construction, engineering, software, sensor technology and Internet of Things products.

Aquacheck's story is being told by the event’s keynote speaker, Bamidele Adebisi,  a Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, who over three years worked with Aquacheck to develop the new standpipe. The university's expertise in electronic engineering and embedded systems helped perfect the product.


Bamidele Adebisi,  a Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, who over three years worked with Aquacheck to develop the new standpipe
Bamidele Adebisi,  a Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University,
who worked with Aquacheck to develop the new standpipe


“Some of the best ideas to optimise the services that we all use such as energy, transport and water come from small and medium sized business,” said Tim Newns, Chief Executive of MIDAS, one of the partners driving the programme.

“We already have examples of Greater Manchester-based businesses flourishing in smart city products and the pandemic has only accelerated innovation. The low carbon challenge touches every part of our region’s future and we are determined to support both foreign-owned, larger businesses and SMEs that are developing new technology that will give us cleaner and smarter towns and cities. We also want to ensure that Greater Manchester is recognised globally for its innovation and leadership in this area.”

The Sustainable Cities and Infrastructure webinar is followed on 8 and 9 December with two invite-only Virtual Innovation Labs where small-medium sized business participants will work together on real-world solutions to solve key challenges posed by large companies.

Richard Jeffery, Director of Business Growth at the Growth Company, said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time in the development of sustainable cities, with a wealth of opportunities for Greater Manchester. Technology in its many and varied forms can make cities cleaner, more secure, and enhance our well-being.

“Smart city tech is about connecting as many assets and services as possible, which could include roads, water system, traffic signs and buildings - and making decisions with that data, optimising as you go along. For these market opportunities, our city-region’s SMEs can work independently or partner with bigger business and academia, but our programme is very much about opening the doors to collaboration.”

Sustainable Cities and Infrastructure is part of the ‘Innovate Manchester’ programme to help the city region recover from the impact of the COVID pandemic. The event is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the GC Business Growth Hub project designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester.

The Hub is also supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester local authorities.

To register a place on Sustainable Cities and Infrastructure, please visit:

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