Green energy boost for Link Centre thanks to £115,000 funding award

By Barrie Hudson - 25 March 2024

CommunitySport

The future sustainability of the Link Centre has received a welcome boost following a successful funding bid from Swindon Borough Council.

The West Swindon leisure centre has been awarded £115,460 from Sport England’s Swimming Pool Support Fund, which will be spent making the building more energy efficient.

Approximately £100,000 of the funding will be used to fit solar panels to the Link Centre’s roof, which will provide approximately 103,000kWh of green electricity reducing energy costs for its operators GLL.

The remaining funding will be used to upgrade the swimming pool’s lighting so it uses less energy to further reduce the leisure centre’s energy costs.

Cllr Jim Grant, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Joint Working, said: “This award is really great news for the Link Centre and builds on our previous investment in the ice rink.

“We need to make our leisure centres as sustainable as possible so that operators can continue to afford to run them. 

"By installing solar panels and using energy-efficient lighting we can reduce running costs and help secure the Link Centre’s long-term future.

“The improvements also support our mission to achieve net zero and help us play our part in combatting climate change.”

The investment is the latest set of improvements to be made to the Link Centre since a severe flood last September closed the facility for several months.

At the end of last year, the council procured new state-of-the-art ice technology and equipment using part of the £2m funding the local authority had previously allocated to leisure provision to replace the ice rink which was destroyed by the flood water.

The new ice installation, which cost £385,000, is expected to reduce electricity usage by 20 per cent, saving the equivalent of 283 metric tonnes of CO2, helping GLL reduce its carbon output in line with both its own and the council’s Net Zero ambitions.

The solar panels and efficient lighting will be installed over the next 12 months.

Barnaby Rich, GLL’s partnership manager for Swindon said: “We would like to thank Swindon Borough Council for helping to secure this significant financial award, which will transform energy usage within the leisure centre. 

“The installation of the solar panels builds on the measures we put in place during 2023 to improve the energy efficiency of the Link’s ice rink and aligns with GLL’s ‘Respecting the Planet’ organisational strategy and the council’s commitment to carbon net zero.”

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