Skip To Main Content

Cambridge City Council

Council wins government funding to reduce emissions from leisure complexes

News release from 18 March 2021

CAMBRIDGE City Council has won government funding of £1.7m to reduce carbon emissions at its two biggest leisure centres by 30%.

This funding from the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme will enable new energy and carbon saving technology to be installed at Parkside Pools and Abbey Leisure Complex, which will lead to more than 440 tonnes of carbon being saved each year.

Since leisure facilities currently account for 26% of the council’s total emissions, these projects should reduce the council’s total emissions by 7.7%. 

Work at Parkside Pools and Abbey Leisure is due to start shortly, completing in the autumn subject to planning permission, and will see an array of technology installed with the council’s delivery partner Bouyges E&S.

This will include air source and ground source heat pumps and solar panels to provide low carbon heating and renewable energy, alongside energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting, insulation, digital fans, improvements and upgrades to the buildings’ energy management and control systems.

Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre, said: “It's really great news that we have been successful in winning this £1.7m of funding for these projects which will get us closer to our objective of being a net zero council.

“Our leisure complexes are the single biggest contributor to the council’s own carbon footprint, so reducing emissions with these projects will be a significant step along the way to achieving our carbon neutral goal.”

Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “We have successfully carried out a huge amount of work at our swimming pools and leisure centres in recent years in order to reduce their carbon footprint.

“This new funding will enable us to do even more by installing some of the very latest technology at our two largest swimming and leisure complexes which are used and valued so much, by many thousands of Cambridge residents each year.”

The projects at Parkside Pools and Abbey Leisure Complex will add to the ongoing work which has already contributed to the council’s total carbon emissions reducing by 28.9% since 2014-15.

Under its Carbon Management Plans, the council has implemented 66 carbon reduction projects to date, and it has invested £1.4 million through its dedicated Climate Change Fund, on top of capital investment through planned maintenance and service budgets.

Projects have included installing solar PV panels at 11 of its major buildings (including the Guildhall, Mandela House, Waterbeach Depot, three swimming pools, sheltered housing sites and the Crematorium), LED lighting at 10 major buildings, a solar thermal system at Abbey Pool, and a comprehensive package of heating improvements and energy efficiency measures at the Guildhall.

The council has also purchased 11 electric vehicles and has regularly replaced other vehicles with fuel efficient models at the end of their lifespan.