How Eckington swimming pool is being transformed into ‘one of the greenest in the area’

Eckington leisure centre is making a splash when it comes to the environment.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 1:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 2:33 pm

Up to £1.5million of Government funding is being injected into Eckington Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre to help it become ‘one of the greenest in the area’, according to North East Derbyshire District Council (NEDDC).

The swimming pool is currently closed while work is carried out to make it more environmentally-friendly in a scheme which promises to slash the leisure centre’s carbon emissions by 66 per cent.

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Councillor Jeremy Kenyon at Eckington leisure centre's nearly-finished refurbished swimming pool. Pictures by Rebecca Havercroft.

The work – which started in August and is expected to end next month – includes the introduction of solar panel technology, replacing gas powered boilers with air source heat pumps, and the installation of new system which will increase the temperatures in the pool hall for customers in the building.

The project supports NEDDC’s efforts to decarbonise energy sources in public buildings to achieve net zero by 2030.

Councillor Jeremy Kenyon, cabinet member for leisure, transformation and climate change at NEDDC, told the Derbyshire Times: “It’s really important for us to reduce our carbon footprint – and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this important work at Eckington leisure centre.

“Once the work is finished, it will be one of the greenest swimming pools in our area.

Work taking place at the pool.

“With these energy and carbon reducing measures set to save the equivalent of heating 100 homes per year, we are creating a brighter, greener and healthier future for our gym members who attend to keep fit.

“By being a member at Eckington leisure centre, everyone involved is contributing towards helping to create a healthier planet, conserving it for our future generations.

“We continue to invest in our leisure centres and our futures by reducing carbon emissions and providing excellent quality facilities for our communities to enjoy.”

Coun Kenyon also urged members of the public to do ‘small things’ in their day-to-day lives to help the planet.

Only the pool is closed as the work takes place - the rest of the leisure centre is open.

“Things like using your car less, recycling more and turning down your thermostat are important,” he said.

“If we all do small things, they will help to make a big difference.”

Earlier this year, Coun Ross Shipman, leader of the Liberal Democrats on NEDDC, accused the authority of not taking climate change seriously.

But a spokesperson for NEDDC said: “NEDDC takes climate change incredibly seriously and reducing carbon emissions is part of day-to-day business, long-term ambitions and strategies.

“To date we have exceeded yearly targets to reach net zero emissions with over 1,000 tonnes of carbon savings delivered two years ahead of schedule.”

The spokesperson added: “The council has an ongoing multi-million pound programme of works to reduce our carbon emissions and that of our residents, working on initiatives such as installing external wall insulation to 324 non-traditional construction properties in the district to reduce their carbon emissions.

“The £1.5million refurbishment of Eckington leisure centre will have a new range of energy-efficient equipment installed such as heat pump technologies running off carbon neutral electricity, cutting running costs of the facility and slashing the centre’s carbon emissions by 66 per cent.

“The council’s own electricity now comes from 100 per cent renewable energy and the authority runs a home improvement service to help residents tackle climate change, and the council works closely with partner organisations and parish councils to help them reduce their carbon footprint.”

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