Leisure centre to benefit from energy efficiency improvement thanks to funding

Woodside leisure centre

Watford Borough Council have successfully applied for and been awarded £403,900 from Sport England, to help support the ongoing running of Woodside Leisure Centre swimming pool...

The centre, which is run by Everyone Active, will receive the funding boost to mitigate swimming pool utility bills and keep operational costs down. The council secured the money from Sport England’s Swimming Pool Support Fund, which was set up by the government to protect sports facilities in communities across the country.

Funding will be allocated towards installing photo-voltaic solar panels, which will help reduce energy consumption at the leisure centre. These panels are expected to contribute to significant savings, potentially reducing consumption by 259.22 megawatt-hours and carbon emissions by 50.13t (equivalent to 2.302 trees planted), and could also save an estimated £31,106 annually.

Woodside Pool

Paul Stacey, Associate Director of Environment and Communities at Watford Borough Council, said: “We're grateful to Sport England for their generous support. With this funding, we'll make our swimming pools at our leisure centre more sustainable. This means lower bills and greener operations, helping us reach the council’s carbon-neutral target by 2030. Residents will also have access to even greater facilities at affordable prices, meaning a healthier, more accessible future for everyone in Watford."

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Executive Director – Place for Sport England, said: “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.”

As the world continues to tackle climate change, initiatives like solar panels will play an increasingly important role in reducing carbon emissions and building sustainable communities. You can find out more about what the council is doing – including its target to net zero carbon town by 2030 or earlier at www.watford.gov.uk/sustainablewatford.

Published: 28th March 2024

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