Funding win for Harborough Leisure Centre supports climate action commitments

Published Monday 25 March 2024

A successful application submitted to Sport England is set to deliver grant support of £535,773 which will have a significant positive environmental impact in Harborough district.

Harborough Leisure Centre
Harborough Leisure Centre

Funds will be used to fit solar panels to the roof of the Harborough Leisure Centre and install energy-saving LED lighting throughout the centre.

Harborough District Council declared a Climate Emergency in June 2019 and has since been working to deliver commitments to reduce its own emission to net zero, as far as possible, by 2030. The commitment also supports resident, businesses, and communities locally to reduce their emissions too.

As with many authorities the Council faces financial pressures as budgets have been exacerbated in recent years by Covid, global events, rising energy costs, inflation, and the cost-of-living crisis as well as an increase in demand for Council services. The new funding will help drive down rising energy costs whilst supporting the Council’s ambitious climate targets.

The funding application made proactively by council officers and Everyone Active, who are the contract partners for leisure facilities across Harborough district, will drive forward plans to install 768 photo voltaic (PV) panels to the roof of Harborough Leisure Centre. 

The new PV panels will deliver 323,520 kwh annual electricity usage savings and £68,000 in annual electricity cost savings at the facility. This roughly equates to 62.56 tonnes of C02 savings per year, or the equivalent of 2873 trees planted.

Cllr Simon Galton, Deputy Leader of Harborough District Council said, ‘The grant funding will complement the planned refurbishment work at Harborough Leisure Centre and further support the council’s ongoing commitment to fighting climate emergency by reducing emissions, switching to renewable energy, and delivering significant long-term financial and energy savings.”

Matthew Hopkin, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “We are delighted to have supported Harborough District Council’s successful bid for Sport England funding and it is great news that this project will further reduce the centre’s carbon footprint. Everyone Active is proud to work alongside the council, as part of our Net Zero Strategy, to help achieve our company’s net zero ambitions.”

The Sports England (SPF grant) funding follows an exciting £5.9 million capital investment into the district council’s two leisure centres, at Lutterworth and Market Harborough, in collaboration with Everyone Active, confirmed in December 2023.

The investment into the health and wellbeing of local communities is a priority for the council and the new contract focusses on improving the range and provision of activities for all, including increased gym stations, and pool inflatables, as well as outreach activities and events across the rural Harborough district to provide accessible support for the whole community.