Low carbon heating business Natural Warmth has joined forces with Ed Milbank – owner of Barningham Estate, near Barnard Castle in Teesdale – to create a new biomass business on Mr Milbank’s expansive estate.
The new joint-venture has been formed to tap into the soaring demand for sustainable woodfuel caused by rising energy costs and the opportunities presented by renewable heat subsidies.
Combining the renewable heat expertise of Natural Warmth founders Stephen Heslop and Andy Howard with Ed Milbank’s extensive knowledge of forestry, the partnership company will run a woodfuel showroom complete with a working biomass boiler district heating system.
As well as becoming popular among homeowners in the region, woodfuel boilers are increasingly being installed in schools, hotels and offices, as a means of cutting costs and improving their green credentials. There is also growing interest in them from the agricultural sector, with many farmers requiring heat to rear animals.
The aim of the new facility on Barningham Estate is to show prospective clients just how efficient and effective this type of heating system is – not only in cutting their energy costs but also in accessing the rewards of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
The centre will seek to educate visitors on the government-backed RHI, which enables businesses – or groups of homes taking heat from a central source – to earn money while heating their property using low carbon fuel. The team at the centre will also advise visitors on how the RHI may or may not apply to their individual circumstances.
Ed Milbank, from the Barningham Estate, will work in partnership with Natural Warmth, providing woodfuel, forestry expertise and financial support to the new venture.
Mr Milbank said: “As Natural Warmth was looking to expand and I was looking for a way in which to commercialise my forestry, we decided that partnering up would be a win-win situation. It’s great to be working with a company which is so professional and experienced in what it does.
“A few other estates have already shown an interest in having a biomass heating system installed, but the service is not just aimed at large estates. We are also targeting public sector and farming clients, and we have a few contracts lined up over the coming weeks.”
Stephen Heslop, managing director of Natural Warmth, said: “It’s extremely exciting to be partnering with the Barningham Estate and we look forward to seeing where this partnership will take our business over the next few years.”
Recent years have seen Natural Warmth evolve from supplying conventional heating systems through to renewables and now biomass. Supplying wood fuel came as a natural progression once the company added biomass boilers to its product range.
The company currently serves clients from the M62 to the Scottish border, but as demand for biomass systems continues to grow, it expects to expand further into the South East and Scotland in the near future.
Natural Warmth will be exhibiting at a number of country shows throughout the summer, including the nationally renowned CLA Game Fair in Grantham, Leicestershire, between July 20th and 22nd. The company will also host an official opening event at its new Barningham Estate home on August 8th.
For more information, please visit: www.natural-warmth.com.