Ideal Heating unveils plans for £10m R&D centre  

Ideal Heating is taking strides towards low-carbon heating solutions by submitting plans for a £10m research and development facility in Hull, UK.  

The proposed UK Technology Centre will be a vital hub for developing and testing energy-efficient heating systems, including air source heat pumps. 

Ideal Heating submits plans for a £10m low-carbon heating R&D facility in Hull, UK.

The state-of-the-art facility is planned for Ideal Heating’s site in Hull, where 70 people are currently employed in research and development roles. The investment in industry-leading R&D facilities will enable that number to rise to 100 and underpin long-term employment at the site where 800 staff are based. 

£60m investment programme 

A detailed planning application for the UK Technology Centre has been submitted to Hull City Council. Dependent on planning approval, construction is expected to begin this autumn, with the facility due to open in mid-2024. 

The proposed facility forms part of a wider £60m investment programme by Ideal Heating, supported by Groupe Atlantic, across the Hull site to increase manufacturing and distribution capacity and accommodate heat pump production and warehousing. 

The centre will help to develop the solutions needed to decarbonise UK homes and supports the Government’s ambitious targets for head pump deployment, including 600,000 heat pumps to be installed in domestic properties annually by 2028. 

Phil Kent, R&D director for combustion at Ideal Heating, said: “Domestic and commercial heating providers have a vital role to play in reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change. 

“We’re serious about playing our full part in meeting the challenge the UK faces in accelerating the adoption of heat pumps and other low carbon solutions.  

“There is no single solution to the challenge and it’s clear that a mix of products and technologies will be needed. Our new UK Technology Centre will be a state-of-the-art, UK-leading facility which will enable us to develop and deliver future heating solutions and make big strides forward in our net zero journey.” 

Simulating scenarios for training 

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 disciplines. 

Laboratory facilities within the 38,000 sq ft (3,500 sq m), two-storey building will enable Ideal Heating’s R&D team to simulate various scenarios and conditions to test innovations and advancements. 

Among other facilities, the new R&D centre will house test equipment and environmental chambers, simulating the range and extremes of climatic conditions to develop heat pumps for future manufacture at Ideal Heating’s Hull factory. 

These facilities can also be used to stress-test components and products, simulating lifespan in the space of just a few months. 

Helen Villamuera, Ideal Heating’s engineering director, coordinates the Hull site’s investment and development programme. 

She said: “Since being acquired by Groupe Atlantic in 2015, Ideal Heating has remained a UK-leading manufacturer based in Hull and with other sites across the country. 

“The huge investment being delivered across our main site, including in the new UK Technology Centre, underpins our position as a leader in the domestic and commercial heating markets and puts us at the forefront of the industry’s net zero transition. 

Rapidly-evolving industry 

“Our roots in Hull date back over 100 years, and we’re investing now to position the business to thrive for generations to come. The new R&D centre is a key element of our development and growth strategy, in what is a rapidly-evolving heating industry.”