With the Future Homes Standard legislation coming into force in 2025, the UK heat pump market continues to see year on year growth. To support this demand, Vaillant has unveiled its new multi-million-pound heat pump production line at its headquarters in Belper, Derbyshire; making it the first manufacturer to produce both heat pumps and high-efficiency boilers in the UK.

The new line was officially opened by John Forkin MBE, MD of Marketing Derby, who was joined by guest, Pauline Latham MP for Mid Derbyshire. Marking a £4 million investment in the factory’s low carbon production capabilities, it reinforces the company’s commitment to ensuring that all UK homes can be heated via the most effective technology for each UK property: be that a heat pump or boiler.

Vaillant has been producing heat pumps for the UK market since the early 2000s. This latest addition to the Belper plant furthers the company’s vast experience in innovation and developing industry-leading heating technologies and follows a £55 million investment in its research and development facility at its headquarters in Remscheid in 2018.

The new heat pump line will be dedicated to producing Vaillant’s aroTHERM plus air-to-water heat pump. Launched in 2020, the aroTHERM plus is the first UK manufactured heat pump available in the market to use the natural refrigerant R290 with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of just three. Capable of achieving higher hot water flow temperatures of up to 75 degrees, meaning the water is stored in the cylinder at a useable temperature without the need for a backup heater, the award-winning aroTHERM plus is fast becoming the most popular heat pump in the UK market.

With current incentives and policy in place, the UK heat pump market is expected to gain momentum as the industry aims to meet the government target of installing 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028. This latest move sees the company playing an important role in the UK Government’s strategy for reducing of carbon emissions from heat and hot water demands.

Giving the inaugural tour of the new heat pump line, Henrik Hansen, Managing Director of Vaillant Group UK & Ireland said: “We know there is no single solution when it comes to heating our homes in the UK as the breadth of property type is diverse. Heat pumps are a here and now technology that can offer decarbonisation benefits, however the future is likely to be made up of a mix of heat pump, hybrid and boiler technologies. Ultimately, we want to help consumers feel in a position to make an informed choice about what will work for both their lifestyle and their property.

“Vaillant has seen many ‘firsts’ in its nearly 150-year history, and I’m delighted to now be announcing the commissioning of the company’s new heat pump manufacturing line in the UK. It’s a huge testament to our incredibly talented and dedicated team, and their vision and commitment to taking the business forward, that we are celebrating this latest milestone.

“Indeed, the widescale need to transition to low carbon is a once in a generation occurrence. The popularity of heat pump technology is growing at pace and is expected to continue to do so as homeowners become comfortable with the workings of lower carbon heating systems. This important move means we can help increase the availability of UK made heat pumps and further our support for installers via supply, training and installation guidance, as they make the shift to new heating technologies.”

Joe Dunn, Plant Director UK at Vaillant added: “This is such an exciting time to be part of Vaillant in the UK as we diversify our product offering and grow our team to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead. It is wonderful to see our aroTHERM Plus air-to-water heat pump production line now fully functional and producing products for the UK market, alongside our high-efficiency boilers.

“The successful diversification of our product offering, from our UK production facility, has been the result of significant investment in the Plant and our fantastic team vision and dedication. The whole team have worked exceptionally hard to install and commission this line, which is an absolute credit to them all. Many of our team retrained and gained new skills to ensure that we can fulfil the requirements for this new technology and can continue to deliver the outstanding quality associated with our products.”

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the new heat pump line, John Forkin MBE, MD of Marketing Derby said: “Vaillant is a well-known employer in this region and it’s fantastic to be here today and see first-hand how they are supporting the UK’s net zero agenda. This investment sustains a proud tradition of business innovation in the area and companies such as Vaillant are leading the way.”

Pauline Latham MP added: “Today’s announcement from Vaillant is a significant boost to kick-starting a heat pump manufacturing base in the UK, and I’m delighted that it is happening in my constituency of Mid Derbyshire. Home heating contributes to around a third of all UK emissions, so the savings that can be made by moving to lower carbon, more efficient technologies, such as heat pumps, is much needed.”