A new research and development centre is taking shape in Hull, with significant backing from Humber Freeport.

Humber Freeport has contributed more than £2m of seed capital funding to Ideal Heating’s £19.2m UK Technology Centre, as part of a major investment to decarbonise industries in the region and transition to a net zero economy.

Freeport support recognises the project as a crucial step in supporting the development of low carbon technologies and further innovation in sustainable home heating.

Ideal Heating is the UK’s market leader in both domestic and commercial heating, and is driving the industry to a greener, low carbon future.

Headquartered in Hull for more than a century, Ideal Heating is investing significantly in low carbon technologies, including heat pumps. The UK Technology Centre forms a crucial part of that programme.

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

Simon Green, CEO at Humber Freeport, 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.”

Humber Freeport has supported the project as part of a total of £25m in seed capital funding allocated to key developments across the region.

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.

A CGI image of what the UK Technology Centre will look like once completed. The facility is expected to be operational in early 2025.

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

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.

Construction of Ideal’s UK Technology Centre is progressing well.

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.

Cllr Charles Quinn, Portfolio Holder for Environment at Hull City Council, 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.”

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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