North Tyneside's leisure centres to sport new environmentally friendly heating systems

A council’s ambitious carbon neutral plans have taken another major step forward.

By David Sedgwick
Thursday, 13th January 2022, 11:01 am
Cllr Graham, Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn, Michelle Bailey and Bill Phillips outside Tynemouth Pool.
Cllr Graham, Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn, Michelle Bailey and Bill Phillips outside Tynemouth Pool.

North Tyneside Council is installing environmentally friendly heating systems in four leisure centres to cut their carbon footprint by 39.7 per cent – equivalent to the average car travelling over four million miles.

The project will see old heating systems, which rely on gas, supplemented with air source heat pumps to significantly reduce the amount of gas used, with the pumps using outside heat to help power the buildings.

North Tyneside Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE said: “We are committed to doing all we can to create a borough that’s sustainable for generations to come.

“With carbon emissions from our leisure centres accounting for around 30 per cent of the council’s building overall emissions, this is an important step forward.

“Whilst the council is doing everything it can to ensure a sustainable future, we absolutely need help from residents and businesses.

"It’s only possible if we all do our bit – if we take small steps, such as recycling and taking less car journeys, we can make a difference.”

The council was successful in securing £3.2million from a public sector decarbonisation grant for the project, which includes Tynemouth Pool, Hadrian Leisure Centre in Wallsend, Waves in Whitley Bay and The Lakeside Centre in Killingworth.

Cllr Sandra Graham, cabinet member for environment, said: “Our leisure centres are much-loved by residents and visitors alike – with this comes high energy use so this is a really exciting and beneficial project in our efforts to become carbon net zero.

“We’re really proud of our climate work so far, which has seen a whole host of initiatives right across the council and borough.

"We’re looking forward to continuing to work closely with residents and businesses on our ambitions for a carbon net zero North Tyneside.”

Among the council’s schemes so far to reduce its carbon footprint are an ongoing programme to replace all streetlights with LEDs; use of more electric vehicles; vast improvements to the energy efficiency of council homes and buildings; sustainable transport routes; and tree planting.

The leisure centres will remain open while the work is underway. However, they will require some short closures to complete the work in the coming months and customers will be informed of the dates nearer the time.