Decision details

Decision details

Decarbonisation Funding - Heat Pumps and Solar Investment

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


Salix Finance offered £9.3m of Public Sector Decarbonisation funding for decarbonisation work across the City Council estate:
a. Heat Pumps - The project will install heat pumps (replacing gas boilers) across five of the Council’s big carbon emitting sites: Leys Pools & Leisure Centre; Oxford Ice Rink; Barton Leisure Centre; Rose Hill Community Centre; and subject to feasibility Oxford Town Hall
b. Energy Storage – The programme will also deliver the installation of thermal and battery energy storage at each site to maximise the effectiveness of the heat pump and solar PV approach.
c. Electrical Upgrade - Deliver electrical system infrastructure upgrade for the sites to cope with higher electrical demands associated with heat pumps. Metering will also be installed at all sites.
d. Off-site solar – Allow investment in a large portion of a local solar farm which will meet a significant part of the increased electrical demand arising from the shift away from burning gas for heating. Through this contracting arrangement green electricity will be provided to our sites from remote PV.


To agree to the grant terms outlined in the offer of funding from Salix Finance.

Reasons for the decision:

To enable the Council to benefit from £9.3m of Salix funding for decarbonisation work across the Council’s estate.

A ten day window was given to Oxford City Council to either accept or decline the funding.

Alternative options considered:

Option 1 - Accept funding – preferred option
Option 2 - Decline funding – not the preferred option as this would represent a missed opportunity to support the Council’s strategic priority of Pursuing a Zero Carbon Oxford.

Signed off by senior officers:

Gordon Mitchell, Chief Executive.

Decision taken in consultation with Councillor Susan Brown, Leader, Councillor Ed Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance and Asset Management, Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, Nigel Kennedy the Head of Financial Services and Anita Bradley, Head of Law and Governance

Publication date: 27/01/2021

Date of decision: 23/12/2020