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Posted On: 27-03-2024
Posted In: Environment

Exe Valley Leisure Centre has been awarded £375,681 funding as part of the Government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund (SPSF). 

With the increase in energy costs over recent years, the Government announced the fund a year ago with the intention of both helping keep pools open in the face of financial challenges, as well as funding longer-term projects to help reduce future energy bills. More than 300 swimming pools and leisure centres in England received a share of £60 million funding provided by the exchequer and National Lottery.

The funding granted for Mid Devon will enable two sustainability projects at the leisure centre, which include further solar panels and the installation of a Combined Heat Power Unit. These projects will allow Exe Valley to be even more self-sufficient and reduce running costs.

The provision of solar panels at Exe Valley is already substantial, with the recent installation of car ports with solar panels and the proposed panels, the total solar array for the Tiverton facility will generate around 170kWp. This will provide approximately 90 tonnes of CO2 savings annually, which is equivalent to driving an average car* for about 850,000 miles.

Councillor David Wulff, Cabinet Member for Community and Leisure, said:

“We’re thrilled to be keeping the momentum going with eco-friendly upgrades. These further solidify our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint across our leisure facilities.”

Mid Devon Leisure has completed more than £3 million worth of improvements to its facilities since 2021 thanks to funding opportunities.

All three leisure sites installed LED lights in all indoor areas, outdoors; around the buildings and car parks (excluding play pitches) in 2021, providing annual cost savings of around £40,000 - £50,000 and cutting CO2 emissions by 520 tonnes over their lifetime. Remaining funds allowed for the installation of an air source heat pump to reduce gas consumption at Lords Meadow Leisure Centre that same year.

Following these upgrades, both Exe Valley and Lords Meadow Leisure Centres utilised £2.8 million worth of funding for the installation of ground and air source heat pumps, as well as bespoke LED floodlights for outdoor pitches and solar PV. These improvements are saving the sites 450 tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to driving 88 times around the world.

*Assuming an average emission of 0.21kg CO2 per mile.