Leisure centre reduces carbon footprint

The entrance to The Park Leisure Centre

A leisure centre is saving money and the environment with a new LED lighting system.

Following an energy survey highlighting work Barrow Park Leisure Centre could do to reduce its carbon footprint, lighting has been replaced throughout the centre, as well as upgrading floodlights for the centre’s car parks and all weather pitches.

The newly installed system reduces the lighting load of the centre site from 49kW to 19.4kW, more than halving the electrical cost from lighting the site and reducing CO2 emissions.

The centre, which is managed by Westmorland and Furness Council, is also supporting the transition from diesel and petrol to electric vehicles, by installing two Electric Vehicle (EV) charge points in the car park.

These works were part-funded through the Low Carbon Barrow scheme, which encouraged businesses and organisations across Barrow to apply for grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 towards up to two thirds of the costs of taking measures to tackle climate change.

Low Carbon Barrow, which ran for two years and ended in March 2023, was funded by the England European Regional Development Fund and Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.

It was delivered in partnership with locally-based organisation Art Gene, which led on the distribution of grants and processed applications that were independently assessed by an expert panel.

More than £150,000 of funding was provided through the scheme for measures ranging from the installation of LED lighting, to alternative heating systems and solar panels on buildings, and supported applicants from hospitality and retail businesses to manufacturing and transport firms.

Westmorland and Furness Council has a key Council Plan priority to provide leadership in the drive for the area to become carbon net zero by 2037 and to work alongside residents, businesses and organisations to support efforts to achieve this target.

Cabinet member for Climate and Biodiversity, Councillor Giles Archibald, said: “The new low energy lighting at the leisure centre demonstrates our determination as a council to take action on climate change.

"It also highlights the value Low Carbon Barrow has had in supporting businesses and organisations to take these measures and the great work that Art Gene and Barrow Borough Council did in delivering the programme.

"This is the latest example of our work to decarbonise our own assets, and follows on from the installation of solar panels on many of our buildings and introducing EV charging points in many of our car parks.

"We are also addressing biodiversity loss by encouraging better land management, habitat creation, tree planting and net biodiversity gain in new housing developments."