£1.6m funding boost as more buildings set to go green

More schools, swimming pools and leisure facilities in Newcastle are set to go green after the city secured more government funding.

Newcastle City Council has been awarded £1.6m to explore options to install eco-friendly measures in a further 26 public buildings across the city.

The work could include the installation of low carbon heating, such as heat pumps, and other energy efficiency measures, including solar panels and improving insulation.

The funding comes as the Council is already using £27m awarded through the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to upgrade over 30 major public buildings, including Blandford House, home of the Discovery Museum, and City Library.

Cllr Jane Byrne, Cabinet Member for a Connected City, said: “We want Newcastle to be a clean, green and connected city and significantly reducing the impact carbon emissions have on the environment and improving the air quality for residents is a key part of this.

“It’s fantastic to see the progress that has been made to ensure some of the city’s buildings have a more sustainable future.

“This is in addition to the work we are doing with Your Homes Newcastle to improve the energy efficiency of residential properties and support private rented tenants.

“This new funding is a really exciting opportunity to explore options to upgrade even more public buildings across the city as we continue to strive to make Newcastle entirely carbon neutral by 2030.”

As part of securing the £1.6m through the government’s Low Carbon Skills Fund, the Council identified 26 sites across the city which could be improved.

These include Elswick and Jesmond swimming pools, West Road Crematorium, Benfield Sports Centre, The Minories, Connie Lewcock House, Laing Art Gallery and Blackfriars.

Elsewhere, Heaton Community Centre, Newburn Activity Centre, Welford Day Centre, Newington Road Depot, 12 Slatyford Lane, Helix District Energy Centre and Newcastle College’s sixth form and Mandela buildings could also be set for upgrades.

Schools which could benefit include Benfield Comprehensive, Gosforth Academy, Excelsior Academy, Chillingham Road Primary, Our Lady & St Anne’s Catholic, Tyneview Primary, Ravenswood Primary, Brunton First, Grange First and Hadrian School.

The Council will now develop a Heat Decarbonisation Plan to improve the sites and will then seek to secure further funding to carry out the works.

For more information on Newcastle’s Net Zero plan, visit www.newcastle.gov.uk/netzero.

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