Taking a dip has turned kinder on the climate


Leisure centre upgrades are set to save 785 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent every year

Anyone going for a swim at the Woodgreen Leisure Centre outdoor pool can now enjoy warm water which is heated in a way that is kinder on the climate.   One of the largest solar thermal installations in the UK has been installed, helping to substantially reduce the centre’s carbon footprint.

The energy used to heat the swimming pools owned by Cherwell District Council has historically been one of the biggest sources of the council’s carbon emissions.

At Spiceball Sports Centre and the authority’s public pools in Bicester and Kidlington, the water is now being kept warm by new air source heat pumps.  These draw energy from the wider atmosphere, meaning no fossil fuels need to be burnt.   At Woodgreen Leisure Centre solar technology heats the pool using free power from the sun.

Councillor Dan Sames, Portfolio Holder for Cleaner and Greener Communities, said: “Reducing the carbon emissions from our leisure centres has been a high priority in this council’s drive to tackle climate change. Now, when you dive into the pool, go the gym, or play a game of badminton you can rest in the knowledge that your carbon footprint has been reduced.

“Councils need to lead by example in driving forward the changes that are needed to address the climate emergency, and we are pleased to be so far ahead in making these ambitious schemes an everyday part of people’s visits to our leisure centres.” 

The leisure centre upgrades are set to save 785 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) every year.

The decarbonisation works at council buildings have an overall budget of £5.2 million, paid for by a Public Sector Decarbonisation Grant from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Cllr Sames added: “We’ve been proactive in applying to the government for funding to make these improvements, and this comprehensive overhaul of our swimming pools is part of a programme that will eliminate around 25 per cent of our emissions by the end of 2022. Although we still have work to do to reduce our carbon footprint, I hope this makes people’s trips to the leisure facilities over summer and all year round, even more enjoyable.”

Other climate-friendly upgrades include energy efficient hand dryers and LED lighting which is trigged by motion sensors.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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