Published: Tuesday, 26th Mar 2024

Farnworth Leisure Centre is to get new energy efficiency measures designed to save money and help tackle climate change.

Funding of £126,000 will pay for new solar panels to allow the leisure centre to generate some of its own electricity, while the amount of energy the facility uses will be reduced through upgraded monitoring software.

The funding was secured by Bolton Council from Sport England and the government.

The council is also looking at the possibility of installing battery storage that can bank energy when it is not needed by the leisure centre.

Future efficiency improvements could also include changes to showers to save water, plus upgraded equipment to save further energy.

The improvements are part of ongoing moves to reduce costs and carbon emissions at council buildings across the town.

Solar panels are already in place at the leisure centres in Horwich and Leverhulme, which also has an innovative ground source heat pump to warm the nearby indoor athletics track.

Overnight covers on all the pools have also been replaced, helping to keep heat in and reduce running costs, and much of the lighting has been switched to highly efficient LED bulbs.

Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Councillor Nadeem Ayub, said:

“This new funding is great news for Farnworth Leisure Centre, as only last year we were also able to extend the gym, add a dance studio, replace windows and bring in additional car parking.

“It also comes at an exciting time in the regeneration of Farnworth and Bolton.

“Very close by, the Farnworth Green development is progressing well, building a vibrant and modern new neighbourhood in the heart of the town centre.”

Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Climate Change and Environment, Councillor Richard Silvester, said:

“These new solar panels are all part of Bolton Council’s objectives in tackling climate change and reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

“This is just the kind of scheme that we will see more of in future, with the cumulative impact of lots of projects adding up to make a big difference.

“And at a time when council budgets are stretched to the limit, savings on energy costs are extremely welcome.”

The council’s leisure centres at Bolton One, Horwich, Farnworth, Westhoughton and Leverhulme are run by SERCO on behalf of Bolton Community Leisure Trust.

Work on the upgrades will start later this year and is expected to be complete by March next year.