Solar panels installed at leisure centres as part of £2.8 million project

Councillor Jessica Fleming and Connah Lloyd, general manager at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre in Stowmarket.

Councillor Jessica Fleming and Connah Lloyd, general manager at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre in Stowmarket. - Credit: Mid Suffolk District Council

Hundreds of solar panels have been installed on the roofs of swimming pools and leisure centres in Babergh and Mid Suffolk to reduce heating costs and solar car charging ports are on their way.

The authorities our now midway through a £2.8 million green project centred around the installation of solar panels in leisure centres.

The project includes 500 solar panels at Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre, Stowmarket, a further 380 at Hadleigh pool and leisure, nearly 300 panels at Kingfisher leisure centre, Sudbury, and over 100 at Stradbroke swimming pool and fitness centre.

The measures are expected to save 269.9 tonnes of CO2e, while also reducing the amount of energy needed to run the leisure centres.  

Cabinet member for environment at Mid Suffolk District Council, Councillor Jessica Fleming, said: "We want to continue setting an example for our district when it comes to reducing carbon emissions – and this work is a vital step in that process.

"Our leisure centres are our second largest source of CO2e - so putting in place measures which use less energy and heat, and making them more self-sufficient is crucial if we’re to reach our carbon ambitions over coming years.”

Councillor Elisabeth Malvisi at Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Sudbury.

Councillor Elisabeth Malvisi at Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Sudbury. - Credit: Babergh District Council

The works were funded by £1.4 million of government cash, as part of the public sector decarbonisation scheme.

Most Read

Cabinet member for Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Sustainable Transport at Babergh council, Councillor Elisabeth Malvisi, said: “Decarbonising some of our major assets like our leisure centres moves us one step closer to our ambition to be carbon neutral by 2030, while also supporting improved health and wellbeing for our communities.”

The next stage of the green energy measures involves a further £1.4 million of funding to install trial solar carport technology at two locations.

Work to install 70 solar carports at Mid Suffolk leisure centre have already begun, with work on a further 40 carports at Kingfisher leisure centre set to start in January. 

Councillor Malvisi said: "Suffolk, and Babergh, are a natural fit for solar, receiving more sun hours on average than the rest of the UK.

"And this project will help ensure Babergh continues to be a place in which people are proud to live and work for years to come."