Breckland Council has been successful in a bid for more than £250,000 of national funding, which will help make Dereham Leisure Centre more efficient and environmentally-friendly.

This comes as part of a government scheme that will see over 300 swimming pools and leisure centres across England receiving a share of funding from the Government and Sport England’s £60 million capital investment programme. This funding will enable solar panels to be installed at Dereham Leisure Centre.

The solar panels will be mounted on the roof of the building, on Station Road, helping to meet the building’s electricity needs. The solar panels will also reduce the building’s carbon emissions by as much as 47 tonnes each year.

In total, the council has been awarded just under £265,000 by the national sports body. Breckland Council put forward a bid for the funding as part of its commitment to deliver projects which create a greener, more sustainable future. A second bid was made for the council’s leisure centre in Thetford, but this was unsuccessful.

Cllr Helen Crane Executive Member for Waste, Environmental Health, Licensing and Sustainability, said: “Our success in securing this national funding means we have a fantastic opportunity to invest in creating a sustainable future and enhancing our leisure provision, which we know is so important to local residents.”

Cllr Tristan Ashby Executive Member for Health and Communities, added “Leisure Centres are a vital part of our Breckland communities, the funding from Sports England will enable us to continue to provide excellent service in a more environmentally conscious way. 264 local authorities have received a share of the funding, of which £20m has been provided by Sport England via the National Lottery and just over £40m has been provided by the Government as part of their commitment to support the long-term sustainability of public leisure.”

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Sports England Executive Director for Place said: “Swimming pools and leisure centres are vital community resources and are enormously important in helping people to be physically active.  Many pools have faced a real and significant threat to their survival this year, as local authorities and operators have battled the challenge of increased energy and wider costs, weakened reserves and difficulties with retaining staff. Sport England is proud of the role we’ve played in supporting these facilities through this difficult period.  We hope today’s funding announcement will enable more public pools to improve their energy efficiency to be more environmentally and financially sustainable, so they remain available for future generations to enjoy.”

(Source: Breckland Council)