Havering trust receives £2.6 million grant to make schools greener

Hacton Primary School

Hacton Primary School in Hornchurch is one of the schools which will benefit from the grant - Credit: Hacton Primary School / Empower Learning Academy Trust

A trust running four Havering schools has been awarded a multi-million-pound grant to make its classrooms more environmentally friendly. 

Empower Learning Academy Trust applied for the government's Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme with a 74-page bid, outlining its plans to roll out energy efficient and carbon reducing technologies. 

Chief operating officer Andrew Frater said: “It was absolutely amazing to have received the grant. 

“We will save so much money which can go back to the community in Havering.” 

He added: “The investment will mean cheaper energy bills and more environmentally friendly schools.  

“Sustainability is an issue that our pupils and the trust take very seriously.” 

Chief operating officer Andrew Frater

Chief operating officer Andrew Frater said he is delighted with the grant - Credit: Andrew Frater

The  £2.6 million grant was awarded through Salix, a non-departmental public body owned by the government which aims to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. 

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Sinead Desmond, programme manager at Salix, said: “We’re delighted that Empower Learning Academy Trust has benefited from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to implement a number of energy-saving measures.  

“The trust is a great example of how a public body can pave the way to a sustainable future and we’re pleased to support them with their plans.” 

The trust’s four sites - The Brittons Academy in Rainham, Bower Park Academy in Romford, Hacton Primary School in Hornchurch and Hall Mead School in Upminster - will be fitted with air source heat pumps, solar panels and LED lighting. 

It said this will contribute towards a Co2 reduction of almost 450 tonnes per annum, equivalent to planting 2,800 trees a year.  

Work to replace old light fittings with energy-efficient LEDs has already begun, and Andrew said it is 80 per cent complete.  

New classroom

Many classrooms have already been fitted with new lights and screens - Credit: Empower Learning Academy Trust

During the summer holidays, heat pumps and solar panels will be installed, taking advantage of the large areas of flat roof space found on school buildings.  

The project will also provide electric vehicle charging points for staff. 

Empower Learning Academy Trust has also secured a contract with Essex-based Green Recycling, a waste disposal company. 

The trust estimates its schools will be able to recycle over 85 per cent of all that is thrown away, with the remainder being made into fuel pellets. 

Andrew added: “It’s super as everything, from food to bricks, is now recycled and nothing goes to landfill.” 

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