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Funding secured for Horden mine water scheme

Published November 09, 2023 9.29am


An innovative project to use heat from mine water to power buildings in Horden has moved a step closer after securing funding.

Horden minewater

Horden Minewater project

The Horden mine water project has received a further £139,500 in funding from the Heat Network Delivery Unit, delivered by the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, to complete the next stage of feasibility and project development works.

The project, which is being developed in partnership by us, Horden Together, the East Durham Trust and Horden Parish Council, aims to explore how water from former coalmines can be used to heat homes, schools and businesses. It also has the potential to heat greenhouses to support the growing of food commercially.

For the next stage of the project, we will be appointing a consultant to carry out further investigative work before developing a business case for more investment.

Positive impact

The project forms part of our Climate Emergency Response Plan and will contribute to achieving carbon neutrality as a county by 2045.

Cllr Mark Wilkes, our Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: "This project has the potential to be a game changer for Horden and the surrounding area, building on our housing and regeneration plans and providing much needed employment.

"I am absolutely delighted that our continued hard work as a local authority is having such a huge positive impact. 

"Heat networks have the potential to provide low cost, low carbon heat to residents and businesses. The Horden mine water project shows that County Durham is leading not just regionally but indeed nationally, and even internationally, in our commitment to tackle climate change and create the green jobs of the future."

Reduce carbon emissions

In May, the partnership completed a technical feasibility study which found that developing a mine water heat network could reduce carbon emissions associated with heating by 580,704 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, equivalent to driving 265 million miles in an average petrol car.  

Since, then the group has been on site visits to Gateshead, Lewes and Leeds to develop its understanding of similar projects and raise the profile of its work.

Graham Easterlow, CEO of East Durham Trust said: "'As a key partner in this exciting scheme, East Durham Trust is working with partners like Horden Together and Durham County Council to make sure that benefit for the community of Horden is at the heart of the project.

"This really exciting project provides an opportunity to use the mine water heat for the beginning of a heat network for local high volume users, such as schools and older adults homes, alongside heating green houses for commercial food growing. This is hoped will increase skills and provide new jobs in the village."