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Ground Source Heating System Set to Reduce Carbon Footprint for Morecambe Bay Academy

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Ground Source Heating System Set to Reduce Carbon Footprint for Morecambe Bay Academy

Senior school Morecambe Bay Academy needed urgent assistance when its boilers and plant room failed due to flooding. Learn how Fusion21 helped to get the damage assessed quickly, supporting the school to install a ground source heating system which is set to reduce its carbon footprint by 300,000kg C02 per annum.

The Member

Supporting 1,200 pupils to achieve their academic and personal potential, Morecambe Bay Academy is a secondary school and sixth form located in Morecambe, Lancashire.

This newly established academy is passionate about developing a bright, modern learning environment and is also keen to create social value opportunities that benefit its student community.

The school has plans to invest in a range of building and aesthetic upgrades over the next two years, but as we explain below, an unforeseen problem with its boiler and plant room meant reviewing its current heating system became a priority.

The Brief

When Morecambe Bay Academy’s boiler and plant room suffered a major failure, its equipment was found submerged under 1 metre of floodwater. As the system was responsible for heating the whole building, the school needed to urgently:

  • Explore the extent of the damage 
  • Understand its options for a new longer-term procurement solution

The ultimate aim was to ensure a reliable and efficient heating system was in place for years to come, but in the meantime a temporary heating measure was fitted by the school.

The Challenge

The academy needed immediate help to review and address the major problems with its heating system.

Mathew Baxter, Framework Manager (Heating and Renewables) at Fusion21 explains: “As soon as Fusion21 was contacted, we stepped in to support Morecambe Bay Academy – and also helped them negotiate a better rate for the temporary heating system hire.

“The academy needed experts on hand quickly to address a complex situation while ensuring they were getting the best deal and procurement solution.”

Keep reading to discover how we worked with the school and Fusion21’s capable supply chain to assess the situation and find a solution.

The Team

As a leading education procurement partner that believes in maximising social value delivery, Morecambe Bay Academy made the decision to work with Fusion21.

Mathew Baxter, Heating and Renewables Framework Manager at Fusion21, was a great match for the job. He has more than 25 years’ practical and managerial experience in the gas and heating industry and is also a Gas Safe Registered manager.

Providing upfront support from the start of the contract, Mathew guided the school through the procurement process and also kept the Department for Education informed and involved in the final decision making.

Using his expertise, Mathew worked closely with three suppliers on different phases of the project. Read on to find out what happened next.

The Approach

From the initial brief, Mathew became a dedicated point of contact and quickly provided access to Fusion21’s Heating and Renewables Framework.

Helping Morecambe Bay Academy with its options, Mathew worked closely with the school to identify which trusted Fusion21 suppliers were right for the job and available immediately.

 Our OJEU compliant Heating and Renewables Framework is worth up to   £500 million and provides access to a rigorously assessed and highly capable supply chain.

Having access to a prequalified supply chain was critical in helping Mathew ensure the project got off the ground quickly and efficiently.

Next, we also discussed how the delivery of social outcomes is important to the academy, providing an opportunity for Fusion21 suppliers to give something back to the school’s students.

 Measurable social value clauses are written into our frameworks. We’ll help you make social value a common thread through every project, delivering on your objectives.

Due to the urgent nature of the works, it was agreed a social value delivery plan would follow once the first phases of the project were underway.

 With time being of the essence, Mathew offered his recommendations, and the school used our compliant direct award process - selecting their chosen supplier to assess the damage.

Morgan Lambert was appointed to:

  • Carry out a stock condition report 
  • Assist with a feasibility study

Commenting on the damage, Mathew said: “Results from Morgan Lambert’s work showed the current boilers were beyond economical repair and, due to the age and equipment condition, a complete heating system replacement was needed.

 “Following the final survey report and a site-visit, the school chose to install a ground source heating system. This technology draws natural heat from the ground to provide heating and also offers reduced carbon outputs – a perfect match to the academy’s innovation, efficiency     and decarbonisation objectives.”

With a plan now in place, a further two suppliers were selected using our direct award process:

  • ECS Consultants Ltd - to administrate and provide principal designer role for the installation 
  • Casey - to install the ground source heat pump system

 Daniel Clarke, Engineering Director at ECS Consultants Ltd said: “The Ground Source Heat Pump system will provide huge long-term benefits to the school, and other education providers can learn from this pioneering project.  

“A holistic heating system replacement within an operating 1930’s school is a complex process which requires considerable design and planning. Due to the flood damage this process has been accelerated - resulting in an intense period where we’ve worked collaboratively with the school, to ensure best technical, programme and safe delivery.”

The system installation involves a 44-week project which is now underway, and the social value delivery plan is being finalised. The plan will be tailored to the school’s requirements and designed to enhance pupils’ learning experiences.

In the meantime, Casey have already undertaken some additional activities that are adding value to the academy.

Gareth Edwards, Head of Pre-Construction at Casey explains: “We were delighted to be appointed as Principal Contractor on what is a very exciting opportunity for all involved. 

“We want to take the pupils on the journey with us, educating them in how the ground source heating system works and how it will provide benefits to the school. So far, more than 200 students have visited the site to see the work in action, meeting with our site team and giving them the opportunity to ask questions about the ongoing installation process, and how it will generate the heat required to power the new school heating system.”

Keep reading to learn how the school will benefit when this project is completed.

The Results

In a short timeframe and with Mathew’s proactive approach, we helped Morecambe Bay Academy to identify that its heating system needed replacing and a decision was made to install ground source heating, supported by the Department for Education.

With this complex project now on site, its completion will see Morecambe Bay Academy benefit from:

  • A low maintenance and efficient heating system offering optimum control
  • Lower running costs than a traditional gas plant
  • Reduced carbon footprint of 300,000kg C02 per annum
  • A new plant room in keeping with the building aesthetics
  • Measurable social value and learning opportunities that benefit its pupils

Our suppliers are working flexibly with the school to ensure the majority of disruptive works are undertaken during school holidays.

The Feedback

We contacted Morecombe Bay Academy to find out what the team think about their experience of working with us so far. Here’s what Angela Livesey, Director of Business and Finance at Morecambe Bay Academy said:

“Fusion21 has provided a professional, quality service in helping our school move forward in difficult circumstances following the loss of our boilers and heating system.

“We’ve had such a positive experience, Fusion21’s commitment to ensuring the school has been kept informed at all stages and the level of detail for understanding the processes has been exceptional. We are looking forward to project completion so we can start to utilise our new ground source heat pump technology.”

Are you looking for an education procurement partner who can support you to deliver quality facilities whilst creating social value? We can help you meet your targets. To find out more, call us on 0845 308 2321 or email us at




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