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Heat networks

Blackpool Council is looking to build heat networks in some areas of the town, as part of its plans to tackle the climate emergency. Blackpool Council has secured £250,000 from Innovate UK and is working with Community Broadband Network to explore the possibility of heat networks in Blackpool. 

Heat networks can replace the need for properties to be individually heated by transferring heat and energy across a large area. This captures the heat from a site, like a data centre or manufacturing plant, and sends it across a wider area such as a business park or housing estate through underground pipes. 

There are currently around 14,000 heat networks across the UK, in places such as Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester and London. The government has plans to increase this number significantly in the near future to meet carbon emission targets. In Europe, heat networks are very common - 63% of all homes in Denmark are heating through district heat networks.

Using data centres for heat networks

Data centres can operate as a single source of heat for a district heat network, as a large amount of energy is needed to cool the processors. Data centres can consume up to 100 times as much electricity as standard office spaces and as the need for data increases in our work and personal lives, this will continue to grow.

There are plans for a series of data centres as part of Silicon Sands at Blackpool Enterprise Zone. These data centres would be cooled by a process called 'liquid immersion cooling', which would submerge processors in tanks of cold liquid to stop them from overheating. As this cold liquid becomes hot, the heat can be extracted and pumped around a district heat network to nearby businesses. This would reduce the need for these businesses to have their own heating supply, massively reducing their carbon emissions.

Data centres connected connected to a heat network are estimated to create more energy than they consume and work succesfully around the world.

For more information on heat networks in Blackpool, contact or businesses can complete the form below.

  • How business can help
    We’re working with University of Central Lancashire and other universities on a funding bid to progress plans for a recovering heat from immersion cooled data centres.
  • The Place Based Impact Accelerator could bring up to £2.5m of funding to aid research and support in Blackpool enabling data centres to be a heat source for a wider heat network. This in turn could reduce some business’ energy bills and bring further low latency computing. To support this bid, we need to show the benefits that this innovation could bring to Blackpool. Business can support this funding bid by submitting a letter of support to or completing the form below.
  • If your business is interested in finding out more, complete the form below and we will contact you to discuss.
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