Exeter & East Devon Enterprise Zone Project Appraisal

Exeter & East Devon Enterprise Zone requested a high-level appraisal of a proposed district heating transmission main that would serve the Cranbrook Expansion Zones. Our appraisal showed that the project did not meet the strategic objectives of the Enterprise Zone. This led to the Enterprise Zone reconsidering their investment, and seeking an appraisal of an interconnector that would serve two existing district heat networks in the area.


Exeter & East Devon Enterprise Zone


The Interconnector project proposed the delivery of a pipeline from a planned Energy from Waste centre at Hill Barton, to the two existing district heat networks in the areas of Cranbrook/Skypark and Monkerton. The pipeline would provide heat to three of the four Enterprise Zone sites. The Exeter & East Devon Enterprise Zone instructed HJA to appraise whether the Interconnector would be a justified investment to the area.

The objective of the appraisal was to review and highlight the positive and negative impacts the Interconnector would have on the Enterprise Zone. Several factors were assessed, including:

  • Strategic fit: evaluating whether the project would meet the objectives of the Enterprise Zone;
  • Suitability: assessing how well the project could be implemented into the area;
  • Costs and funding: considering the capital investments and outcomes of the project and whether it would be value for money;
  • Outputs and leverage: evaluating what benefits the project would have on social, economic, and environmental dynamics;
  • Deliverability: assessing the risks associated with implementing the project’s plans; and
  • Other options: considering other possibilities alongside the project and how they would compare.

Information and data were collated from published materials on the Enterprise Zone and local policies, such as the Devon Climate Change Strategy and the Devon Carbon Plan, to help evaluate the strategic fit and suitability of the Interconnector project to meeting both Enterprise zone and wider targets. The benefits of the project to the Enterprise Zone were estimated using technical reports on the carbon savings and air quality improvements that would result from the project.

An appraisal report was delivered which included a breakdown of the impacts, financial costs, and potential benefits that delivering the Interconnector would have on the area. The appraisal provided key information on the effects the project would have in the Enterprise Zone and helped to determine whether its implementation would align with strategic objectives and environmental targets.

Our appraisal provided an assessment of the Interconnector to the Exeter & East Devon Enterprise Zone, contributing to their understanding of the costs and benefits of the project. This allowed them to consider whether investment into, and further development of, the project should be undertaken.

Since the delivery of the appraisal report by HJA, the Interconnector project has been awarded more funding to support its construction through the Government’s Heat Networks Investment Project. The project will help provide clean growth and has been considered a valuable venture for the Exeter & East Devon Enterprise Zone.

Project Lead

Gareth Jones