Cllr Jenny Forde at Everyone Active Bourton-on-the-Water

Work to cut carbon emissions at Cotswold District Council's leisure centres complete

Plans to cut the carbon emissions of two district leisure centres and make them more sustainable have been completed as the Council commits to tackle the climate emergency.

Works have been completed at the Cirencester and Bourton-on-the-Water Everyone Active leisure centres to increase the energy performance of the buildings. The upgrades were funded by a £1.2m public sector decarbonisation grant awarded to the Council by the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy after a successful bidding process early last year.

Both sites have had their existing gas boilers removed and replaced with new low-carbon air source heat pumps. These units will now heat the buildings, the hot water supply and also the swimming pools. The ventilation systems have also been upgraded and replaced with more efficient components including the latest ‘smart’ technology, allowing for greater control to increase overall efficiency. 

The roofs of each leisure centre have been fitted with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to capture energy from the sun. The clean electricity generated is being used to supply the buildings and is dramatically reducing the amount of electricity being drawn from the grid.

Cllr Rachel Coxcoon, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Forward Planning at Cotswold District Council, said: “We have pledged to make Council-owned buildings and assets more sustainable and it is so important that we deliver this. Our leisure centres account for 30% of all emissions produced by the Council. These decarbonisation works will ensure we are getting the best energy efficiency and maximum cost savings and are a significant step towards Cotswold District Council’s goal of corporately becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and our vision for a carbon neutral district by 2045.”

Cllr Jenny Forde, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “These changes put the district’s leisure centres on a strong footing for the future with cost-savings anticipated in the region of £20k per year in reduced energy bills. We also hope the changes we are making will inspire others to reassess their own energy efficiency and see how they can cut their own greenhouse gas emissions and potentially save them money in the long run.”

Since these improvements, the leisure centres’ use of gas is now near to zero and the buildings’ increased electricity demand is partly offset by the new solar panels. Moving away from fossil fuels is an important step in reducing the Council’s greenhouse gas emissions and the reliance on gas heating within the leisure centres.

Jamie Nesbit, Contract Manager at Everyone Active, said: “We’re delighted Cirencester and Bourton-on-the-Water were selected to benefit from Cotswold District Council’s decarbonisation plans and that the upgrades have now been completed. It’s important for us to play a key role in supporting plans to reduce energy consumption and feeds into our recently launched Net Zero Strategy, to become a cleaner, greener business for everyone.  We want to thank our members and customers for their patience whilst the works were being carried out.”

Ameresco was contracted by Cotswold District Council to deliver the carbon reduction project.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme grant has also enabled a similar installation of air source heat pumps at the Corinium Museum archive facility near Northleach and funded new low-energy LED lighting at the Council’s Moreton Area Centre.

Contact Information

Cotswold District Council Communications Team

Notes to editors

Photo shows: Cllr Jenny Forde, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cotswold District Council at Bourton-on-the-Water’s Everyone Active leisure centre.