The Leeds PIPES district heating network (DHN) could be rolled out across the city centre sooner than expected thanks to the opportunity to coordinate with transport and road network proposals for the Headrow.
The council are looking to accelerate the second phase of the programme so as it coincides with planned improvements in the city centre and therefore minimises disruption for residents, workers and visitors. A grant application has been submitted to the government’s Heat Network Implementation Programme to support construction costs and enable the project which will bring further benefits to the city including reducing CO2 emissions and reducing heating costs.
At a meeting of the council’s executive board next week (Wednesday 17 April) council chiefs will be asked to approve the injection of £4.75 million from the capital programme (subject to securing money from the government) to progress the next stage of the project.
The construction of Phase two would allow the DHN to be connected to prominent civic buildings such as the Town Hall, Art Gallery, Civic Hall and City Museum. It would also connect to other external customers and create the potential to extend the network into the South Bank in future phases. The scheme will also provide an opportunity to install ducting along the length of the network to enable the expansion of superfast broadband across the city centre.
Councillor James Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member for resources and sustainability said:
“We have a really good opportunity to extend the district heating network in Leeds, and realise a number of benefits along the way which will allow us to continue to work towards our carbon reduction targets.
“As well as the obvious environmental benefits the scheme offers the city, the extension will offer further employment as well as tying in with other big transport improvements. The chance to minimise disruption for the people of Leeds is also a good incentive to make this happen.”