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Cotgrave Leisure Centre welcomes further £250,000 investment for solar energy

Last updated: 25/3/2024

Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) has welcomed a further £250,000 funding for the installation of solar panels at its Cotgrave Leisure Centre enabling the site to run even more efficiently using solar energy.

The new panels will generate up to 55,000 kwh of electricity a year saving up to £25,000 on running costs, the equivalent to running power for 20 houses. 

The energy-saving project is supported by Sport England through the National Lottery Fund, which aims to enable more public pools to improve their energy efficiency and become more environmentally and financially sustainable.

It builds on the recent £1.2m investment from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme that will enable the replacement of old boilers and outdated, inefficient heating and hot water systems with new modern, low carbon air source heat pumps at the site.

The pump units will use electricity from renewable sources to efficiently draw heat from the air and transfer it into the swimming pool and surrounding areas, resulting in 250% to 300% energy efficiency.

RBC also received a further £50,000 grant from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to provide a new Changing Places toilet at the Leisure Centre with works underway and an expected opening in April.

The authority is working in partnership with Leisure Energy as principal contractors and Henry Riley Consultants Limited who have provided the Council with project management and cost management services.

Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Wellbeing, ICT and Member Development Cllr Jonathan Wheeler joined partners including leisure centre operator Lex Leisure at the site to welcome the additional funding.

He said: “The solar panels are a fantastic investment that helps us work towards our environmental goals to operate as a carbon neutral Council by 2030.

“In total we’re investing £4.1m in refurbishments and energy efficient upgrades over the next three years at Cotgrave Leisure Centre and Keyworth Leisure Centre. 

“We welcome this further funding for solar panels which will help the site to use renewable energy sources, reduce the carbon emissions and lower running costs.

“This investment will also enhance the quality of facilities for and ensure they remain sustainable for future generations.”

Leisure Energy’s Strategic Director Mike Worsnop added: “We are delighted the Council has received this additional funding and are pleased to now be able to add solar panels to the scheme to further help them move towards their net zero goals.”

Henry Riley’s Executive Director Chris Donachie said: “We’re pleased to be assisting with both Cost Consultancy and Project Management services on this project for RBC.

“We welcome the news of the additional funding that means solar energy can be included in the scheme resulting in further reductions in carbon emissions.”

Lex Leisure Contract Manager Adam Groves said: “It is very exciting to see this project start to come together which will benefit leisure users and the local community”.

“We are thrilled that solar energy can now be included and we are looking forward to running a lower energy, lower carbon and refurbished facility.”