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Plans to extend Leeds’ award-winning district heating network by 2,500 metres will start next week following the award of Heat Networks Investment Project funding.
1 September – The extension marks the third major phase of the Leeds PIPES network and means that more buildings in new areas of the city will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of reliable, affordable, and low carbon district heating.


Leeds City Council secured £3.06 million of grant funding from the Heat Network Investment Project (HNIP), a government funding programme, to enable the £7.4 million upgrades to go ahead. This award follows a previous award of £2.4 million for an earlier futureproofed extension into the city centre.

By using heat and energy recovered from non-recyclable waste at the Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) to provide hot water to buildings in the city, Leeds’ flagship district heating project helps public sector buildings, businesses and residents to move away from costly fossil fuel powered heating systems.

Last year the network of insulated underground pipes, soon to stretch more than 28 kilometres (17 miles) in length, supplied 15,454 megawatt-hours of heating and helped reduce the city’s carbon footprint by more than 2,000 tonnes.

The £49 million network continues to expand and is regularly connecting to new buildings. A key scoring metric for HNIP funding was the ability to expand and further decarbonise over time.

Buildings and developments located nearby can choose to connect at any time and the council has seen strong interest from private developers and public sector organisation across the city.

Leeds Combined Court Centre and Leeds Magistrates’ Court are the latest buildings to announce plans to connect to the scheme. The two buildings will connect as part of a wider programme of green upgrades over the next year funded by the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. They will join St James’s Hospital, Leeds Beckett University and the new Leeds Trinity Academy on the Leeds PIPES network.

The buildings will receive low carbon heat and hot water created by the Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility, which generates energy from the non-recyclable waste around 6,000 households in the region.

The project, delivered in partnership with Vital Energi, has also helped employ more than 430 people in the local low carbon sector including 36 apprentices.


Ken Hunnisett, Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management, said:

The continued growth of the Leeds PIPES heat network will see affordable, low carbon heating and cooling supplied to more of the city than ever before.

The talented team at Leeds City Council, along with their partners, are showcasing how to deliver real impact in the transition to net zero. Having submitted the first application to the HNIP in 2019 – which saw them secure £2.4 million to connect several of the Council’s landmark buildings in the civic centre and further reduce the use of individual, fossil fuel powered boilers – they have now been successful in obtaining this further funding that will unlock strategically significant developments in the months and years to come, keeping Leeds at the forefront of the UK’s decarbonisation efforts.”


Minister for Business and Energy Lord Callanan said:

Government grants have already allowed homes, businesses and public buildings across Leeds city centre to move away from using costly fossil fuels and this latest heat network funding will help many more to see the benefits of low-carbon heating.  Coupled with upgrades through the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, we are showing how investing in cutting-edge clean technologies can help protect consumers and businesses from the costs that are driving up energy bills at a time of high global prices.”


Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for Infrastructure and Climate, said:

The Leeds PIPES district heating network is one of our most exciting infrastructure projects and has real momentum behind it with more public, commercial, and residential buildings all choosing to connect.By extending the network to more parts of the city, I am delighted that we’ll soon be able to give even more businesses and residents the opportunity to enjoy affordable, reliable and low carbon heat—helping them to move away from costly fossil fuel based systems and towards a greener future.”


Graeme Goldsmith, Delivery Director for HMCTS North East, said:

Moving away from fossil fuel heating is a priority for us across the court estate as we look to build back greener from the pandemic and improve sustainability. Connecting Leeds Combined Court and Leeds Magistrates’ Court to the network will support our target to reduce our carbon footprint and our ambition to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.This project is a great example of local and cross-governmental working to tackle an important issue.”


Mike Cooke, Vital Energi’s Managing Director (North & Scotland), said:

It truly is exciting to see the award-winning Leeds PIPES scheme continue to grow and bring low-carbon heat to more customers.  Each connection to the network is another step for Leeds City Council and the respective customer on their Net Zero journey. We’re delighted to be helping them lower carbon emissions and bring more affordable heat to the people, buildings and businesses of Leeds.”


Notes to editors:

The press release by Leeds City Council can be found here:

For more information about Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management and HNIP support visit:

For further information about the Green Heat Networks Fund which follows on from HNIP, visit:

For further information about the scheme and to join the HNIP and GHNF mailing list to receive updates, please contact us:

For all media enquiries, please contact:

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