Millions to be spent on low carbon upgrades at leisure and wellbeing centres

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Leeds City Council says leisure centres and wellbeing centres should soon house some of the greenest gyms and pools in the city, thanks to an investment of more than £10,145,000 in low carbon upgrades.

Work is already being completed at several key Active Leeds leisure centres across the city, so local residents and leisure centre can enjoy buildings and pools powered mostly using low-carbon heat and renewable energy.

The council has teamed up with energy and regeneration expert EQUANS to fit 3,154 solar panels – enough to cover 21 tennis courts – while district heating specialists Cenergist will install 22 heat pumps across the sites.

In total, the scheme will result in 1,487 metric tonnes of CO2 being saved by leisure centres every year.

The council says work to install the upgrades will also help to create skilled green jobs based in Leeds.

In order to allow for the next stage of the work, the swimming pools at both Kippax and Rothwell leisure centres will close between 16 December and 10 January.

The rest of the centres and all other Active Leeds sites will remain open, except during the normal Christmas closing times.

Once completed the work at Kippax and Rothwell leisure centres will see the installation of four heat pumps and 822 solar panels, leading to combined saving of 332.8 metric of CO2 a year across both sites every year.

Councillor Salma Arif, executive member for public health and active lifestyles, said: “Leeds’ community leisure centres have played a key role in the city’s sporting success.

“We are proud of the way they inspire and train the next generation of sporting stars, as well as helping residents to live healthier, more active lifestyles.

“This multi-million pound investment demonstrates our commitment to improving community leisure centres and making them fit for a cleaner, greener and more energy secure future.”

Sean Corcoran, regional director at EQUANS, said: “We’re delighted to bring our expertise of delivering low carbon solutions to this project and to be making a real difference to people in Leeds.

“Creating cleaner, greener environments is vital as we all work collectively to address climate change.

“We’re proud to be working with forward thinking partners such as Leeds City Council to help achieve their zero carbon ambitions and we are pleased to highlight the important work underway to decarbonise homes and public buildings.”