Bedford College to receive share of £30m eco improvements funding

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Bedford Sixth Form is on the site of the former Bedford High School for Girls on Bromham Road. Image: Google Streetview October 2021

Bedford College is among a number of public buildings across the East of England to benefit from nearly £30 million of government funding to cut fossil fuel use and save on bills.

The college joins hospitals, schools, libraries, museums and leisure centres across the region, which will see upgraded heating systems powered by cleaner, cheaper, renewable energy.

These will reduce the use of fossil fuels and exposure to volatile global energy prices. thanks to low carbon heating and energy efficiency upgrades

It will also save local authorities an estimated average of £650 million per year on energy bills, as these measures will ensure public buildings are cheaper to heat.

In the borough, Bedford College Group is receiving £2.6 million to decarbonise five of their buildings, including The Bedford Sixth Form on Bromham Road. The historic building housed Bedford High School for Girls between 1882 and 2012 and the renovation is long overdue.

Air source heat pumps will be installed to replace all existing fossil fuel heating boilers and water heaters, along with fitting roof and loft insulation and upgrading the building energy management system.

This allows the college group to carry out important changes across a number of their campuses, aiding their goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The Bedford College Group CEO Ian Pryce CBE said: “It is important that educators show leadership when it comes to sustainability. We have tried to invest in making our buildings more energy efficient and grants have helped us accelerate those improvements in line with the wishes of our students and our communities.”

The Group is already nominated in awards for eco-efficiency to be announced on June 15th.

A previous Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme funding including Bedford College Group, with them receiving £2.8 million to install a water source heat pump, roof insulation and solar panels, heat pumps, LED lighting and insulation

Elsewhere, Cranfield University was awarded nearly £5 million to install low carbon heating and expand the university’s solar farm.

Business and Energy Minister Lord Callanan said, “Installing low carbon systems to heat our civic buildings will help to shield public sector organisations across the East of England from a costly reliance on fossil fuels, especially at a time of high global prices.”

These investments are a part of £2.5 billion total government spending on the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme between 2020 and 2025.

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