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Small car park to temporarily close, allowing for green heating tests

There will be investigative works happening on campus to see if we could use ground source heat pumps to heat our buildings. Most of our heat is currently supplied by burning gas, so if the testing shows that we are able to replace our large gas boilers with ground source heat pumps, it will be a real game-changer for reducing our carbon emissions. 

The investigations mean digging some narrow but really deep holes, down to about 350 metres. We’ll then undertake some tests on water circulated through these boreholes to see how much energy can be sustainably used to serve our campus. 

The tests will take place in two locations. One will be in the field opposite the Sports Hub. The other will be in the small outdoor car park at the rear of Kirby Corner Car Park. That small outdoor car park will be closed from Monday 11 December through to April 2024, however the large multi-story car park will remain fully open, and there will be no road closures or diversions in place for cars or pedestrians. We’re not anticipating the testing to be particularly noisy or disruptive.  

An aerial photo of the area where investigations will take place. The small outdoor car park to the rear of Kirby Corner Road is highlighted in recd.

To get the testing equipment into the car park, we will have to remove a small section of the hedgerow and grass that surrounds the small car park. We’ve tried to find other ways of accessing the site without removing hedgerow, but it is, sadly, unavoidable. We will be replanting the hedge and grass once the work is complete.  

While all our purchased electricity already comes from renewable sources, we’re keen to generate as much as we can on-site and provide clean heat too. While our current combined heat and power (CHP) engines were the low-carbon option when they were installed, technology has moved on, and we want to make sure that we’re doing everything within our power to provide clean energy on our campus. You can learn about some other sustainability initiatives that are taking place by reading the recent article from Parvez IslamLink opens in a new window, our Director of Environmental Sustainability, and Chair of the Energy Action Group.

If you have any queries about the testing, please contact