The 38,000 sq ft facility will be operational in 2025. Credit: via Meehan Media

Green light for £12.5m Hull R&D hub

Ideal Heating has received the go-ahead to establish a new research and development facility to support low carbon technologies including heat pumps.

Hull City Council has granted full planning permission for the 38,000 sq ft UK Technology Centre at Ideal Heating’s headquarters site at National Avenue.

Construction is expected to begin this October and is due be completed in late 2024, becoming operational in early 2025.

Plans were submitted in April for the scheme by Ideal, which is now owned by French business Groupe Atlantic. Around 30 new R&D roles will be recruited for.

The R&D facility will create a testbed for product development and advancements in the heating solutions to help decarbonise UK homes and business premises.

The facility will see the UK market leader expand its R&D team. It represents a significant investment from Ideal Heating and will play a key role in the company’s transition to low carbon heating solutions, the firm said.

Ideal Heating engineering director Helen Villamuera said: “Our UK Technology Centre is part of a major £60m investment we’re making in our Hull site, to support heat pump manufacturing, distribution and innovation in heating technologies.

“From the outset, Hull City Council has been fully supportive of our plans, which will create highly skilled jobs in the city and expand our existing R&D capabilities.

“We’re delighted to have secured full planning permission for the UK Technology Centre. We will now begin a competitive tender process to appoint a contractor to deliver this project.”

The two-storey building, with an additional partial storey to accommodate plant rooms for the centre, will help to develop and refine the low carbon heating technologies, including heat pumps, needed to decarbonise UK’s 25m homes.

The government has set ambitious targets for head pump deployment, including for 600,000 heat pumps to be installed in domestic properties annually by 2028. Laboratory facilities within the 3building will enable Ideal Heating’s R&D team to simulate a range of scenarios and conditions to test new innovations and advancements.

Ideal Heating has already made a series of investments in Hull, including construction of a heat pump production facility and expanded distribution centre, totalling £20m of investment. Ideal also announced recently it had started producing its new monobloc heat pump, Logic Air, in Hull as the company supports the rollout of renewable heating products.

The company has also opened a £2.2m training centre in Hessle, on the outskirts of Hull, with capacity for up to 5,000 installers every year to learn the skills needed to supply and maintain heat pumps.

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