BBC Concert orchestra

Nottingham’s universities join forces with BBC Concert Orchestra to celebrate sustainability and the natural world with one-off exhibition and concert

Monday, 18 March 2024

An exciting and immersive exhibition, exploring cutting-edge research tackling issues of sustainability and environmental resilience, is set to showcase projects from Nottingham’s universities, and will culminate in a spectacular nature-inspired performance by the world-acclaimed BBC Concert Orchestra.

The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University have joined forces as part of Sustainability Action Week, which runs from 18 to 22 March 2024, to unveil some of the incredible emerging projects being developed around the theme of environmental sustainability and preservation.

The Sustainability Showcase will take over the entire six floors of the Theatre Royal Concert Hall foyer space, on Wednesday 20 March 2024, and will be filled with research from both universities which responds to the theme of ‘sustainability’ in creative and innovative ways.

The diverse interactive displays and installations delivered by both researchers and students – ranging from talking deckchairs and boardgames, to cutting-edge research on materials, greenhouse gases and landscape protection measures – will reveal some of the wide range of work happening at both institutions to address sustainability and climate change in this one-off exhibition.

Visitors can learn about and get up close to the different types of wildlife which live on our campuses; discover how 3D laser scanning data can protect heritage sites across the world; and challenge perceptions as they explore insects as food.

Professor Robert Mokaya, Chair of the Environmental Sustainability Committee at the University of Nottingham

Professor Robert Mokaya, Chair of the Environmental Sustainability Committee at the University of Nottingham, said: “I am delighted that the wide range of work happening at our university, and at Nottingham Trent University, addressing sustainability and climate change, will be showcased together at this prestigious event.

“These innovative ideas not only bring together sustainability expertise from across both universities to raise awareness, but they will ultimately play an important role in supporting Nottingham’s commitment to become the first carbon-neutral city in the country by 2028.”

Laura Mayhew-Manchón, Head of Sustainability at Nottingham Trent University, said: “This exhibition and concert are a fantastic way to bring sustainability to the forefront in a creative way allowing the public to engage with and experience for themselves some of the global challenges that we are all facing and explore some of the solutions being developed to address these.

“It’s an innovative initiative which brings together our world-leading universities and the BBC Concert Orchestra to make people think about and be inspired to tackle key sustainability issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss, using music, film, design, gaming, and other art forms, as showcased by our fantastic local talent.”

The Showcase which opens from 6pm-7.30pm will be followed by a spectacular symphonic encounter at the Royal Concert Hall, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, and conducted by the BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning composer George Fenton. Wild Isles in Concert promises to be an extraordinary, dramatic and beautiful experience, where the British Isles can be seen – and heard – as never before.

George Fenton, said: “I’m so excited to be taking the music of Wild Isles to Nottingham Royal Concert Hall. The experience of watching this amazing footage with a live orchestra and sharing that as an audience will be uniquely special. I’m particularly pleased to be presenting this concert with the BBC Concert Orchestra. They have been such an important part of my journey in writing for the natural world. In fact, I wrote the Wild Isles score for them. So it’s a fitting way to celebrate 23 years of working together on natural history shows.”

The world-famous and celebrated BBC Concert Orchestra will be in residency at Nottingham’s universities, for the week-long calendar of exciting events, as part of Sustainability Action Week. The collaboration comes from a partnership, launched last year, as part of the Universities for Nottingham commitment – a joint Civic Agreement between the universities Vice-Chancellors and further Nottinghamshire partners – which aims to develop and enhance cultural life in Nottingham.

Schoolchildren from Nottingham Emmanual School, part of the Archway Learning Trust, have been invited to spend a half day exploring the sustainability showcase and will have the opportunity to watch the BBC Concert Orchestra’s rehearsal of Wild Isles in Concert.

Story credits

More information is available from Colette Davies, Knowledge Exchange and Impact Manager at the University of Nottingham via

Liz Goodwin 2
Liz Goodwin - Media Officer Arts and Medicine
Phone: 0115 951 5798

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

More news…

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798