The North East and Yorkshire (NEY) Net Zero Hub has taken a major stride forward in its ambition to make public sector buildings in the region net zero.

The Hub has appointed international professional services company Turner & Townsend to drive its decarbonisation of public sector buildings programme, including schools, museums, and other public buildings.

The programme, delivered on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, aims to support public sector properties across the North East and Yorkshire to decarbonise their estates as part of the broader transition to net zero status.

Working in collaboration with technical consultants Locogen, Turner & Townsend’s sustainability advisory team will assess existing public sector properties in the 30 local authority areas across the Hub region.

They will then create a technical strategy to develop heat decarbonisation plans for 60 sites, with the aim of reducing carbon emissions from their heating systems.

The project will also see Turner & Townsend deliver training and knowledge-sharing to the local authority participants to help them deliver their wider net zero plans.

The Hub hopes this capacity-building activity will create a lasting legacy from the programme beyond the specific timeframes of the project.

Karen Oliver-Spry, Manager of the NEY Net Zero Hub, said: “We’re delighted to appoint Turner & Townsend as our contractor in delivering this really important programme.

“Turner & Townsend, along with their collaborators Locogen, have significant expertise in this area and will provide valuable support to public sector bodies in addressing the challenges that confront them in decarbonising their estates.

“It’s vital work that will realise the Hub’s mandate in rolling out the net zero agenda across the North East and Yorkshire region, creating opportunities for shared learning and capacity building across the public sector.”

David Kemp, Associate Director and Sustainability Lead, North at Turner & Townsend, said: “As investment begins to develop greener, more efficient ways to heat properties in the region, we need to see our public buildings playing their part by reducing energy usage and using less carbon intensive heating solutions.

“With the scale of the country’s building stock, collaborative, cross-authority programmes like this will be critical to delivering net zero ambitions at pace.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Hub and making sure public buildings better support the region’s net zero ambitions.”