Three leisure centres in North Herts will undergo a series of measures focused on improving their carbon footprints.

This follows a victory for North Herts Council, securing up to £7,743,224 from a Government scheme aimed at decarbonising public sector buildings.

North Herts Leisure Centre in Letchworth, the Hitchin Swimming Centre, and Royston Leisure Centre, are set to benefit.

It comes after the council's successful application to the phase 3c of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

This scheme is managed by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and facilitated by Salix Finance.

The Comet: Hitchin's indoor swimming poolHitchin's indoor swimming pool (Image: North Herts Council)

The primary objective lies in modernising public facilities to contribute to overall decarbonisation.

The funds secured will be utilised to replace old gas boilers at the leisure centres with modern air source heat pumps.

Coupled with the installation of solar PV panels and the addition of cavity and external wall insulation, this shift promises better efficiency and substantial energy savings.

The Comet: Cllr Steve Jarvis, executive member for environment and leisure at North Herts CouncilCllr Steve Jarvis, executive member for environment and leisure at North Herts Council (Image: North Herts Council)

This will also bring about a considerable reduction in carbon emissions.

Scheduled to commence in April, these initiatives span over two years and are hoped to save up to 1,176 tonnes of carbon yearly.

It is anticipated that these measures will lead to a total energy usage reduction of up to 68 per cent, falling in line with the council's goal of achieving net-zero emissions in its operations by 2030.

The Comet: Cllr Steve Jarvis, left, pictured with a solar panelCllr Steve Jarvis, left, pictured with a solar panel (Image: North Herts Council)

Cllr Steve Jarvis, executive member for environment and leisure at North Herts Council, said: "Securing this funding to help decarbonise our leisure centres is fantastic news and is a significant step forwards towards meeting our own net zero goal, as well as demonstrating our commitment to tackling climate change at a local level."

Echoing his sentiments, Cllr Mick Debenham, the council’s deputy executive member for environment and leisure, said: "The leisure centres are buildings that are heavily used by our communities and this ambitious project will both significantly reduce carbon emissions and offer a sustainable environment to enjoy."

Ian Rodger, director of programmes at Salix Finance, says we are facing 'huge challenges' to reach Net Zero.

He said: "Decarbonising these three leisure centres will not only reduce North Herts’ carbon emissions, but also deliver significant energy efficiency savings."