AN 18TH century building will be providing a warmer welcome following the installation of a 21st century heating system.

The Quaker Meeting House in Castlegate, Pickering, was built in 1793 and is open to the public on a daily basis.

Pickering Quakers have been working hard to maintain and improve the building in recent years, and although the structure of the building was made good in 2010 and the interior modernised in 2011, a significant issue has been the lack of an adequate heating system.

Paul Elliott, from the Friends’ Meeting House, said this year has seen a remarkable collaboration between a County Durham manufacturing company, Ebac Ltd, York-based renewable heating company Solarwall and the Pickering Quakers.

“The result has been the installation of two air-sourced heat pumps (ASHPs) which efficiently heat the building in an environmentally friendly manner,” he said.

“Ebac Ltd were developing a range of ASHPs and offered to supply two nine kilowatt pumps free of charge as part of their product field trials, Solarwall offered to carry out the installation at a very economic rate and Pickering Quakers undertook to raise the money for the installation.”

Paul said the money was raised by individual Quaker donations and great generosity from a number of Charitable Trusts.

“Air-sourced heat pumps are environmentally-friendly because they generate up to four kilowatts of heat for every kilowatt of electrical energy consumed,” he said.

“They are ideal heating solutions where no mains gas is available, as is the case at the Quaker Meeting House.”

Paul said all installations would also benefit from the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) when it was introduced later this year.

“The trials during the cold spring were successful and the Meeting House now provides a much warmer environment for all of the groups who use the building,” he said.

“Pickering Quakers hope that more local community groups will use the building – they will be assured of a warm welcome in every sense of the word.”