The first phase of the Cheshire Rural Biomass (CheRuB) project is drawing to a close, leaving in its wake a legacy of specially trained biomass installation engineers and a "hub" of renewable energy in Cheshire.
Over the course of the three year project, several biomass boilers have been installed in Mickle Trafford in order to create the Trafford Biomass Hub, which includes Trafford Hall and Trafford Mill.
An additional boiler is set to be installed in the Visitor Centre at Risley Moss Local Nature Reserve in Warrington to conclude this phase of the project.
The systems are almost carbon-neutral, and in certain cases have been proven to reduce carbon emissions by 90% compared to electricity-powered equivalents.
There are other benefits, too: using woodfuel creates a localised supply chain, stimulating local economies.
Volunteers based at Trafford Mill have been fueling their boiler with wood left over from conservation work, and are also now producing locally grown charcoal as part of this project.
Five rural oil heating engineers have been taught how to install modern biomass boilers, which, coupled with the government's Renewable Heat Incentive, increases the probability that these boilers will be adopted by small businesses and home owners in the future.
Nigel Blandford, Timber and Biomass at The Mersey Forest, said: "It's been fantastic to work on this project. Not only have three key sites in Trafford been provided with renewable energy, but we have secured the legacy of the project by ensuring that more systems will be installed in future."
CheRuB is part-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas and DEFRA.