Works to transform one of Mansfield’s leisure centres to become more energy-efficient have seen significant progress as the ground source heat pump at Rebecca Adlington was officially turned on on 10 February.
The new heat system sends cold water through the pipes under the ground of the leisure centre, it then comes out the other end having been warmed and compressed naturally in the earth. This new energy is then used to heat the building and pool.
The green initiative follows the awarding of the leisure contract by Mansfield District Council to Serco Leisure/More Leisure Community Trust Limited in May 2022. The council contributed £333,000 of funding for carbon reduction and energy-saving measures as part of that contract.
Works at other leisure centres have seen greening works also taking place, with the installation of solar panels at Oak Tree Leisure Centre and new air handling units to improve circulation at Water Meadows Leisure Complex.
It is hoped these measures will save 417,825 kg of carbon dioxide a year and contribute to the council’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint across the district.
Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams said: “I am thrilled to be officially pushing the green button on this new heat pump project today; this is a significant milestone in turning our three leisure centres green. The impact of these changes will not just be felt now but will also benefit our young people by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide our buildings produce.
“This project is just one of several other greening projects we have going on in Mansfield, including retrofitting council homes with external insulation, the newly-built Passivhaus standard council houses and the work with Severn Trent to not only green up our town centre but also to reduce flood risks in the district.
“All these schemes also feed into the council’s wider place shaping, regeneration and aspiration agendas to improve the environment in Mansfield, offer more opportunities for people here to improve or update their skills and improve their quality of life.”
The council will also see a significant return on investment from this project with the amount it will save on biomass deliveries to the centre. During winter, a lorry load for the two boilers costs approximately £4,500 per delivery. The centre needs one of these weekly deliveries to maintain the current heat levels.
With the project starting in February, it is hoped that the system could be self-sufficient by the summer, dramatically reducing the cost of regular lorry deliveries.
Jack Garner, Contract Manager for More Community Leisure Trust added: “I would like to applaud Mansfield District Council for their innovative approach to the issue of rising energy costs. By keeping these costs down around our centres as much as possible, it allows us as an operator to continue offering value-for-money options, which help keep this community active and well.
“Like Mansfield District Council, More Community Leisure Trust is committed to providing environmentally sustainable leisure facilities, which will serve the people of Mansfield and surrounding areas for generations to come.”