North Kesteven District Council set to approve plan to ‘decarbonise’ leisure centres

A £1.4million plan to decarbonise leisure facilities in North Kesteven will be approved by leaders next week.
Sleaford Leisure Centre pool.Sleaford Leisure Centre pool.
Sleaford Leisure Centre pool.

The authority’s executive members will be told that leisure and cultural facilities “contribute a disproportionate amount of the council’s CO2 footprint” during a meeting next Thursday (February 9).

Sleaford Leisure Centre, Whisby Natural World Centre and the OneNK centre in North Hykeham create 59 per cent of the council’s footprint.

To improve the situation, the authority is looking at a series of solutions including new solar panels, heat and water recovery systems, heat pumps and LED upgrades.

The bids will be funded from the council’s own Climate Response Reserve as well as match-funding bids to the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

The capital budget requirements for the works at the three sites will cost a total of £1,417,800 and it is hoped the authority will get £927,000 from the PSDS.

The combined schemes will save a total of 280.2 tonnes of carbon, according to the council’s research.

“Due to the intense energy demand of leisure facilities, the council’s overall climate aims cannot be achieved without tackling these sites as early as possible,” said the report.

“Whilst energy prices are predicted to fall at some point in the future, they are not expected to return to previous levels for some time.

“In addition to significant carbon footprint reduction, it is hoped that this action can have a positive impact on the operational costs of these three sites.

“At a time of high inflation, high payroll costs, and growing expenditure overall, this saving is essential to the sustainability of the service.”

Better, which runs the council’s leisure centres, has already shortened the opening hours for its pools and leisure centres to help offset the increased running costs due to the hike in energy bills.