Bradford College has been awarded a £2.6 million grant for energy-efficiency works that will contribute to ambitious national net-zero targets.

Delivered by Salix and run by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, the Phase 3c Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) aims to slash energy bills and reduce carbon emissions.

The Scheme targets public sector buildings that still use fossil fuels for heating, hot water, and catering. In total, more than £530 million of funding is being handed to schools, hospitals, fire stations, universities and other public buildings across the country to help tackle climate change.

With a Bradford College contribution taking the funding total to over £3 million, the project will connect the David Hockney building and Advanced Technology Centre to the Bradford Energy Network by March 2026. Networks such as this produce heat on a large scale from the same source to buildings that are separated by miles.

Bradford has one of the UK's largest Air Source Heat Pump installations. Buildings on the Bradford district heating network will benefit from an 85-90% reduction in emissions, contributing to a city-wide reduction in emissions of approximately 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in the first phase of the network.

Bradford College is one of 189 public sector organisations nationwide that were awarded grants for heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency schemes. Work will also cover improvements to hot water distribution systems, pipework insulation, and emitter and substation upgrades.

Pamela Sheldon, head of projects said: “Bradford College is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. This latest funding will be a huge boost to our decarbonisation strategy. Over the last two years, Bradford College has secured nearly £32 million in funding incorporating the PSDS grant. This substantial investment is helping us to rethink, reshape, rework, and rebuild aspirational new sustainable facilities in the heart of Bradford.”

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme was launched in 2020 and Phase 3 of Scheme was announced in 2021 to reduce fossil fuel usage and make public buildings more comfortable and efficient to heat. Phase 3c is the latest funding released by the Department for Energy Security to achieve net zero targets.

Director of programmes at Salix Ian Rodger said: “Climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges of our time and we are pleased to be working with Bradford College on reducing its carbon footprint.

“Our teams will work closely with the college as they progress their decarbonisation journey, ensuring these buildings not only become more energy efficient but better places in which to work and study.”

Alongside this grant, other upcoming Bradford College capital work includes improvement of the fabric of buildings for optimum thermal performance, the incorporation of high levels of natural daylight to reduce artificial light sources in new buildings, energy-efficient LED lighting and optimising lighting control, as well as adding social value by targeting local SME labour and supply chains.

The PSDS grant comes as Bradford College was announced winner of the national Planet Earth Games - the biggest sustainability competition for the UK further education sector. Student and staff were encouraged to participate in various planet-friendly challenges to earn points for the College from tree planting and litter picking to green commuting. With over 3,000 good deeds for the planet undertaken since January, Bradford College topped the national leader board of FE colleges.