Research project helps to develop the future of housing

A Staffordshire-based sustainable property developer has partnered with Keele University to help develop their vision for the future of housing.

Grid Edge Estates, based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, aims to decarbonise the energy sector and eradicate fuel poverty through their cutting-edge solar technology and ‘energy positive’ homes. By working as a development partner with landowners, housing developers and the Green Finance sector, Grid Edge helps to deliver smart homes that are future proof and that use best-in-class renewable energy solutions.

Through the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) programme*, Grid Edge has collaborated with Grace Bebington, a Keele University postgraduate student, to undertake an in-depth analysis of their social, technological, environmental and financial aspects of their business, with the view of informing their future growth and development.

Supported by a team of academics, experts and business development professionals, the three-month research project identified a number of key areas that will influence Grid Edge’s direction and allow them to continue towards their goal of creating housing that leaves a positive impact on its surroundings and the environment.

Speaking about the project, Matthew Bell, Founder and Director of Grid Edge, said: “We already had a strong relationship with Keele after partnering with their Research and Innovation Support programme, so we knew that we’d be getting high quality support and insight, and we certainly weren’t disappointed.

“Our experience with Keele has been fantastic. We have been really impressed with Grace and her clear enthusiasm and passion for the project along with her attention to detail, and all the University staff have been very helpful in providing their insight, whether it be from the Estates team, the academics or the SEND project team.

“We are so fortunate that Keele has the largest smart energy demonstrator of its kind in Europe, so we really feel that it is the best university that we could hope to collaborate with to prove the case for Energy Positive Homes and demonstrate the future of housing.

“Thanks to our collaborations with Keele, we are able to continue to push the boundaries of innovation in sustainable clean energy solutions.”

To find out more about the sustainable business support opportunities available at Keele University, please visit

ERDF and UK Government logos *The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator programme (ref. 32R16P00706) is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme, and is available to ERDF eligible companies. The project is also receiving funds from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).