£184,000 grant for solar panels on Wigston Pool

Award from government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund (SPSF) will provide more than 40% of Wigston Pool & Fitness Centre’s annual consumption of energy, reducing bills and CO2. 

The leisure facility boasts a swimming pool, gym and sauna. It is owned by Oadby & Wigston Borough Council (OWBC) and managed by Everyone Active, and both organisations are committed to efficiency measures that will reduce the centre’s environmental impact. Tech has already played a part in this: they’ve installed LED sensor lighting and a new building management system. What’s more, they’re reduced the pool temperature by just one degree, saving on energy costs. 

Wigston Pool and Fitness Centre

Photo courtesy Oadby & Wigston Borough Council (OWBC)

Now, OWBC is in initial discussions to procure a supplier for the installation of solar panels, with work due to begin as soon as possible. 

SPSF, which is delivered by Sport England, has so provided funding of £60m to leisure facilities with pools across the country so that they can install solar panels, save on bills and reduce their carbon footprint. 

Cllr Bill Boulter, Chair of Service Delivery Committee at OWBC, says: ‘We’re thrilled that our application was successful, and this is an excellent next step for the council in creating a greener future as we work towards net zero. By self-generating almost half of its electricity the centre will also see a substantial reduction in running costs, and become more resilient to fluctuations in energy prices, which in this economic climate offers significant protection to the services it offers. 

‘The centre plays a pivotal role in the local community and provides a valuable boost to local wellbeing through the fitness facilities, swimming lessons for schools and delivering social prescribing programmes. By building a more sustainable future this offer should continue to thrive, and Wigston Pool and Fitness Centre remain providing users with high quality services and programmes and excellent value for money.’ 

Peggy Lee, Group Sustainability Manager at Everyone Active, adds: ‘It is great news that these investments will reduce the centre’s carbon footprint going forward. Everyone Active is proud to work alongside the Council in meeting their Net Zero ambitions, which is the most important part of our own Net Zero Strategy.’ 

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Executive Director – Place at Sport England, says: ‘Swimming pools and leisure centres are vital community resources and are enormously important in helping people to be physically active. Many pools have faced a real and significant threat to their survival this year, as local authorities and operators have battled the challenge of increased energy and wider costs, weakened reserves and difficulties with retaining staff. Sport England is proud of the role we’ve played in supporting these facilities through this difficult period. 

‘We hope this funding announcement will enable more public pools to improve their energy efficiency to be more environmentally and financially sustainable, so they remain available for future generations to enjoy.’ 

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