34 academy trusts share £37m in decarbonisation funding

  • 3rd June 2024


Thirty four academy trusts have received a share of more than half a billion pounds worth of funding to decarbonise education buildings.

Phase 3c of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), delivered for the Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero by Salix Finance, sees funding awarded for 222 projects focused on reducing fossil fuel reliance through the installation of heat pumps, solar panels, insulation, and low-energy lighting.

And of these projects, 47 Of the 222 projects, 47 are school related, with these initiatives securing a combined total of £37m.

Councils also account for over 70 funded projects, which may also include school improvements, although specifics were not provided.

The largest individual grant of £4m was awarded to Benfield School and Sports Centre, part of the NEAT Academy Trust in Newcastle.

The Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership Trust received six grants totalling just over £2m and benefiting multiple schools within its network.

Significant grants were also awarded to larger trusts, including £1.6m to United Learning’s Barnsley Academy, £1.2m to Star Academies, and £516,000 to the Elliot Foundation Academies Trust.

These projects are set to be completed over the next two years.

Launched in 2020, the £2.5bn PSDS has already funded over 1,000 projects.

Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, Lord Callanan, said, “From school corridors to the businesses that power up our economy, we want to make sure buildings of all shapes and sizes are supported to deliver net zero.

“We are standing steadfast behind our public sector and local businesses, providing the help they need to make the switch to cleaner, homegrown energy.”

Other schools to benefit include Liverpool Joint Catholic and Church of England Academies Trust: The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Liverpool, which gets £807,222; Sea View Trust, Blackpool, which gets £2.25m; and True Learning Partnership, Stockport, which gets £2.45m.


PSDS Phase 4

A new approach has been confirmed to allocating funding for Phase 4.

In response to feedback from the public sector, the ‘fastest-finger-first’ approach will be replaced with a more-targeted system that will prioritise projects where the most-direct carbon emissions will be saved.

Phase 4 guidance and criteria will also place additional emphasis on the importance of considering heat networks within the range of low-carbon heating technology options.

This will align with the forthcoming Heat Network zoning legislation that will identify locations where heat networks are highly likely to be the lowest-cost low-carbon heating solution.

The full guidance for Phase 4 will be published in summer.


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