A new facility at Listerhills Road will be the hub of the network, supplying key public buildings with low-carbon energy. Credit: via Be the Best

Courts added to £70m Bradford Energy Network

The Bradford Combined Court Centre and Magistrates Court will become two of the first such buildings in England to be heated by renewable energy after a deal was agreed with operator 1Energy.

HM Courts & Tribunal Service has signed a 20-year agreement to connect to the network, which is billed as one of the UK’s largest low-to-zero carbon district heating networks.

Consented last September, it is due to be operational from 2026.

Operator 1Energy has also secured £25m to create a new heat network in Rotherham.

Over the course of the two-decade Bradford deal, the two buildings are expected to save 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (tCO2) by connecting to the network.

The government’s ambition is for heat networks to supply 20% of buildings nationally by 2050, up from 3% today.

In its initial phases, the Bradford network will include 8km of underground pipework that will supply up to 30 major buildings in the city centre.

Phase one includes sites across the city. Credit: via Be the Best

The network will be one of the largest in the country to use air source heat pumps. An 8MW heat pump will be housed in a new energy centre, being built at the junction of Thornton Road and Listerhills Road. The pump will generate the equivalent of enough heat to supply roughly 10,000 homes.

When the network first becomes operational, gas boilers will accompany the heat pump, providing additional heat on the coldest days of the year and acting as back-up and resilience.

However, as part of a commitment to make the network net zero carbon by 2030, the boiler heat will be replaced by alternative low-carbon heat within four years.

Directors of 1Energy, the company behind the Bradford Energy Network, said that connecting to the network will be the most cost-effective way for organisations in Bradford city centre to decarbonise the way they heat their buildings.

To help cover the costs of connecting to the heat network,1Energy and their technical partner Fairheat, supported the HM Courts and Tribunals Service to secure a £3.5m grant from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is delivered by Salix Finance and is run by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Bradford is the first of several British towns and cities where 1Energy are developing heat networks with subsequent schemes already in progress in Rotherham, Exeter, and Milton Keynes.

Marissa Granath, project director of the Bradford Energy Network for 1Energy, said: “The Bradford Energy Network is a nationally significant project which will help to build the future of Bradford’s net zero infrastructure underneath the streets of the city centre.”

“Signing a 20-year deal to deliver low-carbon heating to two of Bradford’s largest buildings shows the faith and confidence HM Courts and Tribunals have in the Bradford Energy Network.

“There are only two options available to property owners and developers looking to decarbonise buildings in Bradford: a building-scale heat pump or connection our heat network. However, connecting to our network is by far the most economical way to decarbonise heat, with total whole-life costs around 30% cheaper than installing individual air source heat pumps on buildings.”

Marissa Granath said the project is ‘nationally significant’. Credit: via Be the Best

“We were thrilled that HMCTS were able to secure £3.5m of grant funding to enable Bradford Law Courts to connect to the heat network and we are excited about working with other building owners in Bradford to help them cut costs and cut carbon emissions.”

Salix director of programmes, Ian Rodger, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside HM Courts and Tribunals Service on their innovative decarbonisation journey.

“This is an exciting project and demonstrates the value that local collaboration and partnerships can have in delivering on our net zero goals.”

There are around 350 courts and tribunal buildings in England and Wales. The Bradford Combined Court Centre and Magistrates Court are set to be the eighth and ninth courts to connect to a heat network.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

Related Articles

Subscribe for free

Stay updated on the latest news and views in Yorkshire property


Keep updated on the latest news, deals, views and opportunities in Yorkshire property, in your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to Place Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below