Salford abandons Eccles Town Hall air source heat pump project
A “significant lack of market interest” in the decarbonisation scheme, coupled with viability constraints, has prompted the council to rethink its approach to reducing the heritage building’s energy consumption.
Salford City Council had planned to make a series of upgrades to Eccles Town Hall in a bid to improve its sustainability as part of a drive to decarbonise its estate.
The works included the installation of six air source heat pumps, double glazing, LED lighting, and roof-mounted solar panels.
However, after two attempts to secure a partner to deliver the project, the council has abandoned the original scheme.
Just one formal bid was received and the cost came in around 80% higher than the budget for the project, according to a council report.
The city council had estimated the project would cost around £1.1m to complete but the price submitted for the works was exceeded by around £700,000.
The report adds that the building information provided to tenderers was “not tailored enough” with regards to heritage, which resulted in bidders having to build in a portion of risk to their price to account for any unknowns.
With the original scheme now scrapped, the city council will now not draw down the £346,000 it received as part of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s £1.77m allocation for the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.
A scaled back project is now proposed, including replacing windows and installing solar panels and LED lighting. It is thought these improvements could save the council more than £30,000 a year in energy bills.