Leeds City Council to expand low-carbon heat network

Work will begin on 2,500 metres of infrastructure to provide more buildings with energy from non-recyclable waste in Yorkshire’s biggest city.

Leeds Council has announced that funding has been secured to expand its existing low-carbon heat network, PIPES, which provides energy and hot water to buildings using non-recyclable materials at the city’s Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility at Cross Green. Construction is due to begin on 19th September.

aerial photography of town

Having secured a £3m grant from the UK government’s Heat Network Investment Project, a total of £7.4m will now be spent on the extension, adding 2,500 metres of insulated underground pipes to bring the system’s total span to 17miles. This should significantly increase capacity, with existing infrastructure already having supplied 15,454 megawatt-hours of heating in 2021, reducing overall carbon footprint by 2,000 tonnes. 

Leeds Combined Court Centre and Magistrates’ Court are the latest buildings to confirm they will connect to the scheme, forming part of a larger green upgrade programme due to go live over the next 12 months. Vital Energi, the firm delivering the work in partnership with the local authority, has helped 430 people into employment through the undertaking, including 36 apprentices, contributing to West Yorkshire’s ambitions to grow the green jobs sector. 

‘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,’ said Cllr Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate. 

‘It is truly 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,’ added Mike Cooke, Managing Director of Vital Energi North & Scotland. 

Other northern England metropolitan areas including Greater Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield are undertaking work on low-carbon heat networks. Leeds’ efforts to improve green credentials, local and regional air quality also include a new email pollution alert service, while an ambitious blueprint for a future where residents ‘don’t need a car‘ was unveiled in 2021.

Image: Benjamin Elliott


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top