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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute


Response to planned sale of former cement works site containing geothermal boreholes

(26 March 2015)

Researchers looking at the future potential of geothermal energy today said they hoped that any new owners of a key County Durham site would continue to explore its research and development potential.



The former cement works at Eastgate, in County Durham, is due for sale by auction today (Thursday, March 26). This site contains two of the most recent deep geothermal boreholes to be drilled in the UK that have been extensively used by researchers from the BritGeothermal partnership to learn more about the nature and geothermal potential of the buried granite at the site.


Dr Charlotte Adams, Research Manager for BritGeothermal in the Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University, said:

“The boreholes at Eastgate are an important resource for understanding the UKs geothermal potential. Both the BritGeothermal partnership and Durham Energy Institute agree that Geothermal energy can help the UK become more self-sufficient and resilient with respect to energy in the future. We therefore hope that any subsequent site owner will view the boreholes as an asset and continue to support their use for Research and Development purposes.”


With continued research and development the boreholes will provide further information about how best geothermal resources can be identified, exploited and managed and ultimately could provide a source of low of carbon energy either for the site, the local area or further afield.


The North Pennines area continues to have a key role in developing and understanding the UK’s geothermal potential. This began in the 1960s when the presence of a buried body of granite was assumed and later proved by researchers at Durham University. The BritGeothermal research partnership includes the universities of Durham, Glasgow and Newcastle and the British Geological Survey and was established in 2013 to research and promote deep geothermal resources.

Further information:

Read the UK’s Geothermal Resource Durham Energy Institute briefing

Read more about the BritGeothermal Partnership and research at the Eastgate borehole

Savills Auctions 26 March 2015

Find out about Durham University’s Geothermal research