Milestone reached as research and development centre takes shape

A research and development centre is being built in Hull, as a manufacturer continues to invest in its long-term future in the city.

Ideal Heating’s £19.2m UK Technology Centre will support development of low carbon technologies, including heat pumps, and drive further innovation in the way homes can be heated sustainably.

The project is backed by more than £2m of seed capital funding from Humber Freeport, having been identified as a significant project which will help the region decarbonise its industries and transition to a net zero economy.

Steelwork for the UK Technology Centre is now in place. The facility is set to be operational in early 2025 and will house simulators, test rigs and environmental chambers, all of which will advance the efficiency and performance of Ideal Heating’s product portfolio.

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 has been a major employer in Hull since 1906 and now has a workforce of around 800 people in the city.

Its UK Technology Centre will provide a purpose-designed new home for the company’s expert R&D team.

Laboratory facilities within the 38,000 sq ft building will enable workers 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.

Simon Green, CEO at Humber Freeport, said: “We’ve aligned ourselves 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.”

Councillor Charles Quinn, portfolio holder for environment at Hull City Council, added: “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.”

Henry Boot Construction has been appointed lead contractor on the project.

Craig Finn, director at Henry Boot Construction, said: “Sustainability and innovation are at the heart of our business, so it’s a pleasure to be working with a company that shares these values, alongside playing our part in contributing to a greener future for the UK.”

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