The partnership means local authorities applying to the government’s Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) can now access lending from the Bank at preferential rates on the basis of the same application information submitted to the GHNF grant funding scheme.

Successful projects will have access to the Bank’s local authority lending function which supports public bodies across the UK to access loans to finance critical green infrastructure and boost regional growth, the Bank’s two key objectives. Streamlined access to the Bank’s additional financing will help successful heat network projects to make their grant funding go further, helping them roll out solutions at larger scale and faster pace.

Heat networks work by distributing heat from a central communal source to local homes and business and are a proven cost effective and low carbon heating option.

Currently only around 3% of the UK’s heat supply comes from heat networks. This will need to grow to around 18% by 2050 to achieve Government targets. BEIS estimates that England’s heat network infrastructure will require between £60-80bn of investment between now and 2050 to deliver on Net Zero commitments.

As part of its commitment to growing heat networks, the Bank’s Local Authority advisory function is also working with Bristol City Council on a pilot project to roll out 1bn of net zero infrastructure, including strategic heat networks, through the City Leap partnership.

John Flint, CEO of the UK Infrastructure Bank:

With rising energy bills, the need for low-cost, low-carbon heating systems is clear. Heat networks provide an innovative and proven solution which can help tackle the net zero and local growth challenge. Helping Local Authorities unlock access to finance for these projects will be crucial.

The Bank is well placed to play a significant role in supporting the development of heat networks and we are pleased to be taking the next step through our new partnership with BEIS in fulfilment of this ambition.

Announcing the successful recipients of the fund, Energy Minister Lord Callanan said:

It’s vital that we invest in cutting edge technologies, like heat networks, that move us away from heating our homes and businesses with carbon-emitting fossil fuels.

I’m delighted to see that, through the Green Heat Network Fund, ground-breaking projects will be developed at pace to the benefit of communities, moving us away from soaring energy bills and delivering cheaper, greener energy.

Further information regarding the announcement of the first grant awards under the GHNF, which launched earlier this year is available at

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