North East Derbyshire District Council has received £1.33m funding to de-carbonise Dronfield Sports Centre and the improvements are set to make it one of the first existing facilities to reduce its carbon emissions by 100% in the UK.
The project will see old gas-powered boilers replaced with air source heat pumps, the installation of solar panels helping offset 25% of the centres energy, which is already sourced from renewable energy, resulting in a £12,000 annual saving.
The Council has secured funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of its Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), delivered by Salix.
The scheme aims to put the public sector at the forefront of decarbonising buildings in the UK.
As part of the work to decarbonise Dronfield Sports Centre, cavity wall insulation has also been installed around the building, as has new energy efficient LED lighting. This further investment will result in a 100% decrease in carbon emissions as the centre will become carbon neutral upon completion of the works. The Council will continue to investigate other opportunities to further reduce energy consumption at the facility.
The 340T carbon saving is equivalent to not having to heat 126 family homes in the district – every single year, and by making these improvements to the existing facility sets this project apart from others in the UK as no additional carbon footprint or cost is generated by not needing to replace the facility with a new one.
North East Derbyshire District Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Cllr Alan Powell said, “This is a real statement project that I hope makes headlines across the UK to empower other leisure centres to follow suit in decarbonising their centres”.
“Climate Change and saving money and energy are the core values for our residents and us as an authority and this project will see us making incredible efforts to ensure the safe and green future of the facility for our residents for the long term future”.
“The carbon reductions are fantastic and this is just one of our ongoing projects where we have already reduced carbon emissions at Eckington Pool by 66%.”
“We are passionate about our environment and a green future and this project delivers – on a national scale.”
Jake Helliwell, Programme Co-ordinator, from Salix Finance said: “We are delighted to be working with North East Derbyshire District Council on this exciting scheme. It’s very encouraging to see what a positive impact this will make on the leisure centre and everyone who uses it.
“As someone who is from the area and grew up using the centre, it is great to see the tangible changes now being made in response to the climate emergency.
“It will be transformational for the area and make a real difference to the users, we cannot wait to see the Council achieve its carbon savings.”
Work is set to start at the centre in the summer of 2022 and be completed by winter 2022.