An MP has visited a Cornish school using vegetable bio-fuel to heat its premises.

Secretary of state for the Environment George Eustice visited Gwinear Primary School after its recent switch to an eco-friendly heating biofuel.

The school is the first in the country to trial the new renewable liquid fuel, known as Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), replacing their traditional fossil fuel heating.

The low-carbon fuel is produced from certified waste fats and oils, creating a greener, renewable resource unlike previous biofuels.

Mr Eustice said of the day, "It could be a very important stepping stone on the way to net zero in rural areas like this.

There are a lot of people still reliant on old oil-fired boilers and this is a more environmentally-friendly fuel."

Redruth-based Mitchell & Webber, the South West’s local oil supplier, are the first company in the UK to have started these national trials, and have seen huge success trialling the fuel domestically since its launch last November.

Gwinear Headmaster Mr Lee Gardiner said: "Since our school is such a historic building, it is extremely difficult to insulate using more modern techniques.

"Installing a completely new system would likely be disruptive to daily school life, and could possibly damage such an important structure.

"So when I saw the success of Mitchell & Webber’s HVO conversions in other settings across Cornwall, I knew I had found the perfect option for Gwinear!”

Company Directors Robert and John Weedon are particularly excited to see this new fuel making a green impact within the education sector and gain recognition from a Government official - seeing HVO as a practical solution for the future of oil appliances in the UK.

Falmouth Packet: George Eustice - Mitchell & Webber George Eustice - Mitchell & Webber

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John Weedon said: "We all appreciate the need to help the environment as a priority and these trials are to ensure the fuel will work well when converting existing setups."

"We are pleased that only a low cost conversion is needed in many cases and so far tests are extremely promising, with all boilers performing well."

These HVO trials are supported by OFTEC and the UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA), and is certified as a sustainable fuel by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC).

Mitchell & Webber see it as the potential replacement for every oil-reliant home across the country as it offers net greenhouse gas CO2 reductions of up to 90%.

Mr Eustice acknowledged this potential and the problem-solving nature of the fuel: "If this technology works - and there’s some very encouraging signs at the moment - the Government is looking across the piece about how we can decarbonise our homes."

"They’re getting good results on boilers large and small.

"There don't seem to be any adverse effects, all they need to do is change the nozzle and adjust the pressure on the boiler and it seems to work very well."

John Weedon continued, "We think it’s incredibly important to offer choice to customers when it comes to making their home sustainable, and we believe the best options will be those that are the least disruptive and most cost effective, which is exactly why we’re such huge advocates of this future-ready fuel."

"Installations such as the one at Gwinear show the viability of the fuel and technology used to put it in place.

"Converting their existing oil-fired boiler was the obvious solution given the characteristics of the building, so we were happy to provide HVO fuel to the school over the next 12 months as part of our trials - adding to the school’s already stellar green credentials.

"The HVO fuel has been performing excellently so far, and we couldn’t be happier with the results."