BY Sam Walker | Monday 7 August 2023
Hull-based Ideal Heating has launched its first UK heat pump production line as part of a huge investment in low carbon technologies.
The heating industry market leader has been manufacturing many of the country’s best-selling boilers for over a century at its headquarters in the city.
Now the business is undergoing a major transformation as it engineers the green heating solutions to support the UK’s drive to net zero.
Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, visited Ideal Heating’s Hull factory to mark the start of heat pump production by the company in the UK.
The new heat pump production line forms part of a £60m investment programme at the Hull site, which includes an expanded distribution hub, a research and development centre to pioneer the heating technologies of the future, and a heat pump manufacturing facility.
Ideal Heating has also invested more than £2m in a flagship training centre in Hessle, East Yorkshire – one of the heating industry’s largest and best-equipped training facilities and where up to 5,000 installers every year can gain the skills to install and service heat pumps.
As the UK market leader in both the domestic and commercial heating sectors, Ideal Heating is now leading the industry towards a greener future, supported by its parent company, Groupe Atlantic, a global heating industry leader.
Shaun Edwards, CEO of Groupe Atlantic UK, Republic of Ireland and North America, said: “The transition to low carbon heating solutions including heat pumps is the biggest transformation in the business since we moved from coal to gas-fired boilers in the 1930s.
“The major investments we’re making at our Hull site send out a very clear signal about our commitment to the net zero transition and to re-modelling our business to meet the needs of our customers today and into the future.
“For decades the name Ideal has been associated with boilers and other market-leading heating products. With the start of heat pump production and the many other investments we’re making, we’re now pushing strongly forward with renewable technologies that will play an ever-growing role in heating the UK’s homes and commercial premises.”
Ideal Heating’s transition to renewable heating solutions will play a key role in the UK’s green industrial revolution.
A huge decarbonisation of housing stock must take place for the UK to achieve net zero status by 2050, as homes account for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Lord Callanan’s visit to Hull is recognition of the vital role played by Ideal Heating in the heating industry’s green transition and the company’s status as a major UK manufacturer and employer.
Ideal Heating has a 800-strong workforce in Hull – the majority in manufacturing roles – with a total of around 1,500 employed across the UK by the company and its sister businesses.
Lord Callanan’s visit to the National Avenue site in Hull marked the start of heat pump production on the site. He also officially opened Ideal Heating’s £2.2m National Training and Technology Centre in Hessle.
On his arrival at the training facility, Lord Callanan addressed Ideal Heating staff and said: “Ideal Heating is by far the most advanced of the traditional gas boiler manufacturers and it’s great to see all the developments that are taking place in terms of manufacturing, production and training.
“Everyone at Ideal Heating is doing a fantastic job, so I’d like to say well done and keep it up.”
The Government has set an ambitious target for 600,000 heat pumps to be installed in the UK every year by 2028, which will require thousands more skilled and qualified low carbon engineers.
That’s why Ideal Heating has invested in its showpiece new National Training and Technology Centre which provides a state-of-the-art learning environment for both existing installers looking to upskill and new entrants to the industry.
Lord Callanan officially opened the new facility and met members of Ideal Heating’s Expert Academy training team and installers undergoing training at the centre.
Jason Speedy, Chief Operations Officer at Ideal Heating, said: “Backed by our parent company Groupe Atlantic, we’re excited to be investing massively in our site in Hull, and to establish our new training centre, as we diversify our product portfolio and continue to innovate new technologies.”