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Construction milestone reached as Ideal Heating R&D centre takes shape

Construction milestone reached as Ideal Heating R&D centre takes shape

Ideal’s £19.2m UK Technology Centre will support the development of low carbon technologies, including heat pumps.

Ideal Heating’s £19.2m UK Technology Centre will support the development of low carbon technologies, including heat pumps, and drive further innovation in the way homes can be heated sustainably.

The project is backed by more than £2m of seed capital funding from Humber Freeport, having been identified as a significant project which will help the region decarbonise its industries and transition to a net zero economy.

The steelwork for the UK Technology Centre is now in place, with work on the new facility moving forward at pace.

The facility is set to be operational in early 2025 and will house a range of simulators, test rigs and environmental chambers, all of which will advance the efficiency and performance of Ideal Heating’s product portfolio.

Ideal Heating Chief Operations Officer Jason Speedy said: “The UK Technology Centre represents a significant investment in more ways than one.

“We’re part-way through a £60m development programme at our National Avenue headquarters in Hull, largely focused on heat pump production, distribution and innovation. The R&D facility forms a key part of that programme.

“But, more than that, the UK Technology Centre signals a new chapter in our 100-plus years of history in Hull. It will enable us to continue the evolution of the products which will heat homes for decades to come.”

Ideal Heating is one of Hull’s biggest and longest-established manufacturers, having been a major employer in the city since 1906 and now with a workforce of around 800 people in the city.

The UK Technology Centre will provide a purpose-designed new home for Ideal Heating’s expert R&D team, which has an increasing range of engineering roles related to design, development, electronics, simulation and product testing.

Laboratory facilities within the 38,000 sq ft (3,500 sq m) building will enable R&D teams to simulate a range of scenarios and conditions to test new innovations and advancements.

The centre will also house a heat pump testing area, workshop spaces and a training room.

To mark a significant milestone in construction, with the steelwork now completed, Ideal Heating invited partners to the site to see the progress first-hand.

They included Simon Green, CEO at Humber Freeport, which has supported the project as part of a total of £25m in seed capital funding allocated to key developments across the region.

Mr Green said: “Humber Freeport has aligned itself strategically to the region’s green energy sector, having recognised it as a magnet for significant investment, innovation and skilled job creation.

“Ideal Heating’s UK Technology Centre is a perfect example of this investment, which will further develop the growing skills base we have in the region in renewable energy and advanced manufacturing.

“We were pleased to support Ideal Heating through our seed capital fund. The R&D centre taking shape is another demonstration of the positive impact Humber Freeport is having within the region.”

Cllr Charles Quinn, Portfolio Holder for Environment at Hull City Council, also attended the event.

He said: “Sustainability is something which connects businesses of all kinds across the city and wider region and every company must undergo its own low carbon transition.

“With that transition comes huge opportunities for growth, product development and new skills. Ideal Heating is seizing these opportunities, as it builds on its rich history and heritage in Hull to create an exciting future at the forefront of innovation in home heating technologies.”

After a competitive tender process, Ideal Heating appointed Yorkshire-based Henry Boot Construction as lead contractor on the project.

Craig Finn, Director at Henry Boot Construction, said: “We are delighted to be delivering this significant technology centre in Hull.

“Sustainability and innovation are at the heart of our business, so it’s a pleasure to be working with a company that shares these values, alongside playing our part in contributing to a greener future for the UK.

“Like us, Ideal Heating is always looking to integrate new technologies and be at the forefront of the sector — in particular, trying to deliver more innovative low-carbon solutions — so this partnership was the perfect fit.”

The UK Technology Centre will boast excellent sustainability credentials, with roof-mounted solar panels generating renewable electricity for the building and air source heat pumps serving the mechanical heating system.

LED lighting and controls will help reduce energy consumption within the building and high-performance building fabrics will reduce heat loss.

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