Eco upgrade for Dales leisure centres

December 10 2018

Energy saving measures introduced at three Derbyshire Dales leisure centres will save in the coming year enough gas to power 11 houses, electricity to feed 824 TVs and water for 22,654 showers.

The eco upgrade has just been completed at Arc Leisure Matlock, Ashbourne Leisure Centre and Bakewell Swimming Pool, owned by Derbyshire Dales District Council and done in partnership with not-for-profit leisure trust Freedom Leisure.

Freedom Leisure committed to energy saving works in its successful bid to take over the management of the District Council facilities in August this year.

Work since then has seen an energy conservation programme to reduce carbon emissions, minimise waste and improve the leisure environment for customers.

Often working overnight to reduce disruption, contractor Leisure Energy has replaced showers and lighting with new energy-efficient alternatives and improved air-handling processes, helping to reduce C02 emissions equivalent to that churned out annually by 57 cars.

The work brings the three centres into line with Wirksworth Leisure Centre, also operated by Freedom Leisure in partnership with the District Council, where upgrade work has already taken place.

Councillor Jo Wild, chairman of the District Council's Community & Environment Committee, said: "At a time when energy consumption is part of a huge international debate, this project has been all about getting our leisure centres fit for the future.  This was key to the agreement we struck with Freedom Leisure back in August and we are delighted to have delivered on this promise so quickly.

“There is a huge international debate right now about climate challenges facing at the minute to promote that we are making our contribution to what is a massive worldwide challenge. It’s about doing lots of small things as well as the bigger ones too. 

Together the two partners committed to a total investment of £1.6m to help improve and modernise the facilities, not only to make them more environmentally efficient, but also to introduce some exciting opportunities for people to enjoy being active, which will be revealed in the very near future.

Jeremy Rowe, Regional Operations Director, Freedom Leisure said: “Energy efficiency works are often the first thing to be done when we commence a new contract, as it really is in everyone’s best interest that the centres are as efficient as possible, both to minimise impact on the environment and centre costs.

“As a charitable organisation we reinvest all operating surplus back into our facilities, and less money spent on bills means more money to spend elsewhere to support active communities.”