Nottingham City Council Roof-mounted Solar Leisure Centre
Perdiswell Liesure Centre to install roof-mounted solar from government funding. Image: Nottingham City Council

Worcester City Council has been awarded £195,000 from the UK government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund (SPSF) to add solar panels to the roof of Perdiswell Leisure Centre.

The panels will be installed by March 2025 alongside a unit that will use excess power produced during the summer months to heat water for the showers, fans that will recirculate warm air to reduce heating demand, and an energy-efficient water recovery system that will clean and reuse water.

The council also obtained a further £59,750 from the SPSF on behalf of Worcester Citizens’ Swimming Baths Association for solar panels and a building management system upgrade for the swimming pool at Lower Wick in Worcester.

Lloyd Griffiths, the city council’s director of operations, homes and communities, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded these much-needed funds, which will help drive down energy usage at Perdiswell Leisure Centre after a period when the rises in energy bills have been very challenging.

“That, combined with the environmental benefits of these new technologies, will ensure the future of one of Worcester’s most popular leisure facilities.”

Rob Tyler, area manager at Freedom Leisure, which operates Perdiswell Leisure Centre on the council’s behalf, said: “Supporting people and communities to be more active and healthy is at the heart of everything we do, and we are delighted that we will be able to continue to do this whilst reducing our carbon emissions.”

Fellow recipients

The Perdiswell Centre is not the first facility to receive significant funding from the SPSF, with West Lindsey District Council having been allocated £401,500 to install hundreds of solar panels at its leisure centre.

Located in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, the West Lindsey Leisure Centre was awarded funding as part of the government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund in its second phase, which aims to make buildings more energy efficient.

The funding will be used to install 545 solar photovoltaic (PV) modules on the swimming pool roof, saving 221 MWh of annual energy production.

The changes also involved changing to more energy-efficient equipment, including LED lighting, variable speed drive, water-saving devices, and lighting sensors, and reducing energy wastage through the installation of pool covers.

Moreover, despite not being a government-funded project, Tonbridge Swimming Pool in Kent has begun installing an 80kWp rooftop solar array to power the building with cheap renewable electricity.

Installing the 180-panel array follows a recent emissions audit conducted by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, which found that over half of the council’s total greenhouse gases are produced by its leisure centre.