Ideal Heating lodges £10m R&D centre project
The company, founded in Hull more than a century ago, is to build a 38,000 sq ft UK Technology Centre at its National Avenue headquarters site.
Ideal, now owned by French business Groupe Atlantic, said the centre will play a key role in developing and testing low carbon heating solutions, such as air source heat pumps.
Around 30 more R&D roles will be recruited for in Hull, where there are currently 70 such employees within an 800-strong team onsite.
A detailed planning application for the UK Technology Centre has been submitted to Hull City Council, with designs produced by Hull-based architect and civil/structural engineer GGP Consult.
Dependent on planning approval, construction is expected to begin this autumn, with the facility due to open in mid-2024.
The proposed facility forms part of a wider £60m investment programme by Ideal Heating across the National Avenue site to increase manufacturing and distribution capacity and accommodate heat pump production and warehousing as the government looks to decarbonise UK homes.
Phil Kent, R&D director for combustion at Ideal Heating, said: “Domestic and commercial heating providers have a vital role to play in reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change.
“As the market leader, we’re serious about playing our full part in meeting the challenge the UK faces in accelerating the adoption of heat pumps and other low carbon solutions.
“There is no single solution to the challenge and it’s clear that a mix of products and technologies will be needed. Our new UK Technology Centre will be a state-of-the-art, UK-leading facility which will enable us to develop and deliver future heating solutions and make big strides forward in our net zero journey.”
The new centre will house test equipment and environmental chambers, simulating the range and extremes of climatic conditions to develop heat pumps for future manufacture at Ideal Heating’s Hull factory.
Helen Villamuera, Ideal Heating’s engineering director, is coordinating the investment and development programme at National Avenue.
She said: “Since being acquired by Groupe Atlantic in 2015, Ideal Heating has remained a UK-leading manufacturer based in Hull and with other sites across the country.
“The huge investment being delivered across our main site at National Avenue, including in the new UK Technology Centre, underpins our position as a leader in the domestic and commercial heating markets and puts us at the forefront of the industry’s net zero transition.”
Ideal Heating is also investing in a new National Training & Technology Centre at Bridgehead Business Park in East Yorkshire, with a focus on low-carbon heating and up-skilling thousands of boiler installers across the UK to supply heat pumps to customers.