Mobilising quickly to reduce carbon emissions and energy bills
Decarbonisation & energy

Ladybridge High School decarbonisation

Clear Futures and Bolton Council partnership logo

Through a long-term partnership with Clear Futures, Bolton Council benefits from a quick, efficient route to procure infrastructure projects, with a special focus on sustainability. With access to expertise in energy retrofits, the council has made significant reductions to carbon emissions and energy bills at Ladybridge High School – learn more below.

268 t CO₂e
carbon savings p.a.
operational energy savings p.a.
PSDS funding secured

Energy challenges of an ageing estate

Ladybridge High School in Bolton was built in the 1970’s, and with an on-site leisure centre and educational farm, had complex and high energy requirements. It was affected by inefficiencies such as separate controls in different locations, high-energy lighting and single-glazed windows.

Mobilising quickly to implement improvements

Robertson Facilities Management (RFM) is a pre-procured Clear Futures national supply chain partner, giving Bolton Council easy access to deliver the project at speed. The Council could quickly engage the RFM to carry out energy audits and make a funding application. Once funding was secured, RFM could be swiftly instructed to deliver the decarbonisation improvements. Drawing on vast experience of similar work across the North West, RFM applied their understanding of the technologies and local supply chain partners to deliver the project efficiently, and with minimal disruption in the live school / leisure centre environment.

Securing decarbonisation funding for the Council

RFM carried out energy audits using their innovative energy tool across the site, identifying the most beneficial decarbonisation measures and solutions to reduce operational energy consumption and carbon output. These were included in a Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund (PSDS) application, made on behalf of Bolton Council, which successfully unlocked £1.4m of funding to deliver the decarbonisation project.

Measures installed

  • Air source heat pump
  • Solar PV systems
  • Double glazing
  • Building Management System
  • Heating pipework insulation
  • Fans
  • Motors
  • Building Energy Management System

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Decarbonisation & energy

Cutting carbon in Stockport

Partner: Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
Project value: £5.6m
Completion: 2022

In autumn 2020, Clear Futures supported several public sector bodies with applications for the first wave of Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) grant funding from central government.

Stockport Council needed strategic support to analyse their estate and effectively plan how to meet upcoming net zero targets. The council looked to Clear Futures to provide additional resource and expertise to develop a competitive funding application to unlock local decarbonisation projects and support their net zero goals.

Clear Futures provided a timely, compliant procurement route that overcame the time constraints posed by the funding deadline and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Clear Futures and our partners supported Stockport Council with initial feasibility assessments, by creating project business cases, and identifying a compliant procurement route that would deliver the works to decarbonise Stockport Council’s built estate most efficiently.

Understanding Stockport’s decarbonisation challenge

Clear Futures Joint Venture Partner, AECOM, gained a clear insight of building conditions, operational carbon and energy performance in the council’s existing building stock. Looking at the estates data collected via an existing energy management portal, we pinpointed eight priority buildings for optimisation works.

Thanks to AECOM’s technical expertise, site surveys identified £4.5m of decarbonisation projects to upgrade the buildings and significantly reduce carbon output. A robust decarbonisation action plan was created to support the business case and funding application.

After submitting the application on behalf of the local authority, the project team provided further support for Stockport Council, including preparing initial project plans, risk register, supply chain engagement, planning and site capacity assessments.

How Clear Futures helped

  • Strategic support: developed ambitious net zero strategy aligned to Stockport Council’s key targets and policies.
  • Decarbonisation expertise: advisory services for initial building assessments and surveys which identified low carbon opportunities.
  • Finance solution: business cases and project plans for capital funding demonstrated project costs, payback, carbon consumption reduction and operational energy cost savings from the proposed projects.
  • Delivery vehicle: a compliant procurement route.
  • Project management: assessment and business case work to meet key project deadlines, with a project team assembled in advance of the funding award for a seamless transition into delivery.
  • Planning: project plans and programmes that showed how the council would meet deadlines set out in the PSDS.
  • Flexibility: worked to meet Stockport Council’s needs in a constantly changing environment.

The funding boost brings forward energy efficiency upgrades to Stockport Council’s priority public buildings.

Outcomes delivered

funding secured
tonne CO2e savings per year
efficiency savings per year

Progressing to net zero, with local social impact

Delivering these works through a variety of Clear Futures local supply chain partners provided a boost to the local green skills labour market.

Stockport Council gained a full understanding of built estate carbon output and energy efficiency and is now able to move forward with an ambitious net zero strategy and clear roadmap. There is also scope for wider decarbonisation and green infrastructure projects.

This brings the added potential for developing longer-term aspirations that link to local growth and community wealth generation through projects including regeneration.

Decarbonisation & energy

£10.4m secured for carbon zero projects in Greater Manchester

Partner: Bolton Council, Tameside Council, Stockport Council
Project value: £10.4m
Completion: June 2022

When the first wave of Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) funding was announced in 2020, Clear Futures partnered with three Greater Manchester local authorities – Bolton, Stockport and Tameside – who needed support to develop strong grant applications.

The UK Government and BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) announced the first phase of the PSDS funding in October 2020, giving UK public sector bodies the opportunity to bid for grants from a £1bn funding pot. The scheme provided a key opportunity to unlock public sector decarbonisation projects at a time when public capital was under pressure due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The use of funding was specific: to deliver capital energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects within public sector non-domestic buildings, providing key stimulus to the low carbon economy and delivering significant savings across the UK public estate.

Our work resulted in significant savings for the public sector in terms of operational costs, freeing up capital for other priority issues, and a key step change towards meeting net zero carbon targets:

  • Energy audits
  • Strategic support services
  • Funding application support
  • Design and engineering
  • Project management
  • Cost management
funding secured
priority buildings for upgrade works
tonnes CO2e savings per year
financial savings per year

Meeting tight PSDS deadlines

Each application had to evidence the impact of proposed decarbonisation measures and programmes for delivery – within the set timescale of nine months from any grant being awarded

For local authorities at the beginning of their roadmap to net zero, this presented a real challenge to understand the current state of their existing estate and how to deliver ‘no regrets’ decarbonisation projects.

All three applications were submitted on time, with feasibility works completed in eight weeks. The 36 projects identified:

  • Supported internal net zero targets.
  • Ensured no increase in operational costs arising from a switch from gas to electricity.
  • Could be delivered to the PSDS deadline.

Further key outcomes included:

  • Increased understanding within council teams of built estate carbon output and energy efficiency.
  • Project teams prepared for accelerated delivery in advance of funding awards through support including design, procurement, initial project plans, risk registers, supply chain engagement, planning and site capacity assessments.
  • Supported growth of green skills, job opportunities and local supply chains.
  • Ambitious net zero strategies and roadmaps developed, with scope for wider decarbonisation and green infrastructure projects.

Create a public estate fit for the future.