University buys Joule House

Salford University has acquired the house where the 19th century physicist James Joule conducted his experiments into energy and heat.

The university purchased the property from Maidments Solicitors, which had been based there for over 10 years.

From October, Joule House, located at 3 Acton Square off The Crescent in Salford, will be home to staff from the university's new centre of excellence for energy research in the UK.

Salford University plans to open an educational 'outreach room' displaying original scientific apparatus used by Joule to inform people about the important experiments conducted at the site.

The refurbishment of Joule House is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The university has secured an additional £580,000, taking the total amount of ERDF funding received to over £1.5m.

The funding will allow the university to continue to grow its portfolio of business support activity, targeting regional businesses from the fast growing low carbon and environmental goods and services sector within the region.

Salford University said the work to be carried out at Joule House will directly relate to UK's recently announced carbon budget, which aims to cut Britain's emissions by 50% from 1,990 levels.

Professor Martin Hall, vice-chancellor at Salford University, said: "Joule House forms a major part of Salford's heritage, and we are looking forward to becoming a part of the building's rich history.

"The University of Salford is fast becoming globally recognised for its energy research and business support activity, so it also is highly appropriate that our pioneering work takes place at such a scientifically important site."

The university said James Joule lived at the property from 1819 to 1854 and, through his experiments conducted in the basement of the building late at night, established the "mechanical equivalent of heat". The international unit of energy, the joule, was named after him.

In January this year, the university officially opened its multi-disciplinary research centre which includes Energy House; a fully-functional terraced house built to monitor domestic energy consumption.

Salford University could not immediately disclose details of the cost of the sale.

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It will be the joule in their property crown.

By N Ergy

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