Dearham Primary School, an Academy School located in Maryport, Cumbria, has been rated by Ofsted as “Outstanding" and as part of the efforts of the Head Teacher and staff to offer a better environment for pupils, the school has been significantly extended and improved with new classrooms, new purpose built sports hall and new offices. 
Dearham converted to Academy status in 2011, having been a being a foundation school prior to this; the school has 253 pupils on roll aged between 3 and 11 years of age and is dealing with the multitude of challenges facing schools across the education and financial spectrums.

The Requirement
As part of the new build plans, a serious question arose over the aged oil and gas heating system which was not only creaking at the seams and expensive to maintain but, more to the point, was inadequate to heat the growing building volumes.

The Solution
Dearham decided to replace the existing system over the 2014 summer holidays with a Biomass system installed by Barden Energy of Carnforth, Lancashire. The boiler was an Ariterm Biocomp 199 and the installation completed before the winter closed in. 
In order to ensure EFA compliant funding, the Academy worked with AFM Solutions to deliver an Operating Lease which not only enabled the Academy to fund the installation “off balance sheet” but used the savings from the new technology. These savings were enhanced by the RHI income that the Academy will now benefit from over the next 20 years.
Mrs Sam Kid, Head Teacher says “We were in dire need of upgrading our ageing and inadequate heating systems. We needed to find the cash for this and AFM Solutions offered us an Operating Lease - a totally managed financial proposition compliant with the Academies Financial Handbook which allowed us to benefit not only from a new heating system but also from many years of income from RHI”

The Benefits
The biomass plant will offer a more reliable and low carbon heating system for the Academy. 

Specific benefits include:

  • Fuel costs reduced by more than £4,000 per annum
  • 20 year revenue from Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
  • Reduction in boiler maintenance costs
  • Project breaks even in the first year
  • 20 year cost: benefit surplus is expected to be more than £400,000
  • CO2 reductions