(L - R): Kai, Alfie, EQUANS Resident Liaison Officer Lynn Johnson, Leroy, and Kieran.
Matthew Neville

Newcastle students gain construction experience with £3.8m sustainable project

Four Newcastle students got the opportunity for hands-on work experience with EQUANS as the company kicked off an innovative low carbon heating project in partnership with Your Homes Newcastle (YHN).

Centred on the Denton Park House and Hilltop House tower blocks in the West Denton area of Newcastle, the £3.8m project will see the complete removal of the gas-powered central heating systems, and replaced by Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP).

GSHPs work by drilling holes deep into the ground and harnessing natural heat from underground by pumping water through it in pipes. The heat pump then increases the temperature, and the heat is used to provide home heating or hot water.

The benefits to residents are lower energy bills and a reduction in the carbon footprint of both blocks, thanks to the complete removal of the old gas system.

Will Kay, regional managing director at EQUANS, said: “Partnering with YHN to install Ground Source Heat Pumps at Denton & Hilltop is another example of our ability to deliver innovative projects which benefit the lives of residents, reducing their energy bills and their carbon footprint.

“EQUANS is also committed to working closely with the community everywhere we work, and I was delighted to be able to welcome four work experience students to the site, who will no doubt benefit from being able to get practical experience of the industry.”

As part of the work, four students from Studio West school got the opportunity to spend a week of work experience with the site team to learn more about the project, which they can see from their classrooms.

Shadowing both the site managers, Resident Liaison Officer Lynn Johnson, and the electricians, plumbers and joiners, the Year 10 students, Kai, Leroy, Alfie, and Kieran, got to see how their construction course at school can set them up for a wide range of careers once they graduate.

Kai said: “It’s been a really good experience, we’ve been following everyone on site and learning more about how they’re installing the system and drilling the boreholes outside for the heat pumps.

“We’re all interested in construction in the future and being able to get the experience of so many different aspects of the industry has been really good.”

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