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Exterior of the National Football Museum Photo: National Football Museum
Greater Manchester Combined Authority is receiving £15.5mn of government funding to install low carbon heating at institutions such as the National Football Museum

Photo: National Football Museum

Public buildings across England have been awarded £553mn in government funding for affordable, low carbon heating and energy efficiency upgrades.

Funding through the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme will see clean, efficient heat pumps installed and energy efficiency upgrades fitted in 160 public sector organisations, including the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Manchester Fire and Rescue, and historic venues at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


These upgraded heating systems, powered by cleaner, cheaper, renewable energy, will reduce the use of fossil fuels exposed to volatile global energy prices and support thousands of jobs, says the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).


Local authorities, public bodies and taxpayers are expected to save an average of £650mn/y on energy bills over the next 15 years as a result.


Upgrades are already underway with grants awarded to 381 public sector organisations across England under the first two phases of the scheme. According to the government, Phase 1 alone supported up to 30,000 clean jobs in the clean heating and energy efficiency sectors.


The first round of funding allocated through Phase 3 of the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme will provide grants to 160 public sector organisations across England to install 217 clean heat and energy efficiency projects. The funding is the first part of an overall £1.4bn due to be allocated through Phase 3 over three years until 2025.


Among the projects to be supported include Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which will receive more than £70mn to decarbonise Queens Medical Centre; Leeds City Council, which will receive £4.3mn to decarbonise six primary schools and four child day care centres; and Exmoor National Park Authority, which will receive £115,000 to install clean heating at Pinkery Outdoor Education Centre, which is off-grid and has no mains gas, electricity or water.


The scheme is part of the £6.6bn fund the government is currently investing to cut fossil fuel use and emissions – with the aim of reducing emissions from public buildings by 75%, compared to 2017 levels, by 2037. In addition to what has been allocated to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, over £2bn is aimed specifically at lower-income households and saving people money on their energy bills.