Photo showing how the roof-mounted solar panels might look on the leisure centre

Green investment for new leisure centre

Read more on Northumberland County Council’s pledge to tackle climate change in the 2021-23 Climate Change Action Plan:

Northumberland County Councillors have formally agreed on a spend of £84,000 for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at the new Morpeth Leisure Centre.

It’s proposed the new leisure centre, which is expected to be built by summer 2022, will have 65 kilowatts worth of roof-mounted solar panels installed, and increase from the current leisure centre’s 9.36kw.

The new leisure centre will also harness renewable heating in the form of air source heat pumps, which require electricity to operate and will be powered from the solar panels.

Cllr Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “We are committed to investing in green energy within our council estate, which will help us reach our promise to halve all council emissions over the next four years. Agreeing installation of solar panels at the new Morpeth Leisure Centre is an exciting step towards reaching our goal.”

Installation of 65kw of solar panels will generate up to 52,585kWhs of clean energy per year. It is expected that 95% of the power generated from the solar panels will be utilised by the building itself, saving around £28,000 over the product’s 25-year lifespan. 

Cllr David Bawn, ward councillor for Morpeth North, added: “The new centre will be a real asset for the town and a wonderful place, with great facilities, for residents and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.”

The new state of the art £21 million leisure centre and community hub which is being funded by Northumberland County Council and will be built on The Terrace site on Gas House Lane. 

The new centre will include a six-lane swimming pool with spectator gallery, a learner pool, spa facilities, a four-court sports hall, a fitness suite, a dedicated spin studio, large fitness studios, a cafe area and soft play.
 
The plans also incorporate a new community services hub which will see the town’s library move back to its former home on Gas House Lane, a customer service centre and a new adult learning facility.

The new centre will be run by Active Northumberland.

Mark Warnes the Chief Executive of Active Northumberland said: “One of our greatest costs is the heating and lighting of the centres. The installation of these solar panels will help to make the new centre more energy efficient and reduce energy bills while providing zero-carbon clean energy, which is great for the local environment.”

This green initiative is just one in a series of new investment schemes that have been introduced to reduce the carbon footprint of the leisure centres. Solar panels are also being fitted to Blyth Sports Centre, Prudhoe Waterworld and Wentworth Sports Centre in Hexham and panels have been installed at Willowburn Leisure Centre in Alnwick.

Over the past two years a major £1m investment scheme has also seen the refurbishment, repair or replacement of the swimming pool operating plant in six swimming pools, replaced with more energy efficient and environmentally friendly equipment.

Read more on Northumberland County Council’s pledge to tackle climate change in the 2021-23 Climate Change Action Plan: www.northumberland.gov.uk/climateactionplan

Read more on Northumberland County Council’s pledge to tackle climate change in the 2021-23 Climate Change Action Plan:

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