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Residents find out more about ground-breaking community renewable heating scheme

01 April 2022

Despite the cold wet weather, almost 50 people attended an open evening at Swaffham Prior Energy Centre this week to see the progress made on the ground-breaking heat network scheme.

The event was an opportunity for residents and other interested groups to have a guided tour around the energy centre site, as well as to ask any questions to representatives from both Cambridgeshire County Council and Bouygues, the technical partner for the project.

This was the first time residents of Swaffham Prior have been able to view the inside of the energy centre and walk to the borehole field, where there has been significant progress made to install the sustainable heat network. This includes the installation of both heat pumps and heat exchangers, as well as borehole drilling in the field adjacent to the energy centre.

The project is the first of its kind in the UK and will mean Swaffham Prior, a community of around 300 homes in East Cambridgeshire, is to become one of the first villages in the UK to install a heating network into an existing community.

The heat network will use ground source and air source heat pumps to provide thermal energy, pumped through a community network, into homes in Swaffham Prior.

Once finished, it will enable households in the village to disconnect from their oil boilers/tanks and use existing central heating systems or switch from electric heating to this ground breaking renewable heating scheme. This will help to end fuel poverty, reduce dependency on oil and provide cheaper, renewable heating to homes in Cambridgeshire.

Councillor Lorna Dupre, chair of the Environment and Green Investment Committee on Cambridgeshire County Council, said:

“The open evening was a great opportunity for residents of Swaffham Prior to see first-hand the progress that is being made to deliver this innovative, renewable heat network which will significantly reduce the village’s carbon emissions.”

“This project is one of many helping Cambridgeshire reach its goal of becoming net zero by 2045. I would encourage anyone in the village who has not done so already to find out more about the project and how it can not only help the environment but potentially save you money as well.”

Some of the residents in the village that have signed up to the scheme commented: ‘I would just like to pass on my thanks to everyone involved in last nights Open Evening. It was a very informative visit and I left highly impressed by the whole operation and look forward to seeing all the hard work and dedication of every member of the team involved, become a reality.’

And another said; ‘Despite the weather we had such an interesting time yesterday at the open event- it’s absolutely fascinating and so impressive. Thank you for organising the evening.’

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in joining the scheme and wants to book a free engineers survey please contact: