Council secures £600k to help White Oak go greener

Published: Saturday, 23rd March 2024

Sevenoaks District Council has been awarded £612,950 to fund new solar panels at White Oak Leisure Centre in Swanley, helping to cut the centre’s carbon footprint.

The Council successfully applied to Phase 2 of the Government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund, which provides grants to reduce energy use at public pools.

White Oak opened in early 2022 and is one of the most environmentally-friendly, energy efficient centres around. The solar panels will further reduce energy use and running costs. Work on their installation is expected to start later this year.

Cllr Lesley Dyball, the Council’s Cabinet Member for People and Places, says: “We are thrilled to have successfully bid for funding to help White Oak Leisure Centre go even greener.

“Swimming is great for residents’ health and wellbeing, as well as teaching children to stay safe around water. But running a swimming pool can be expensive due to the high energy costs.

"Not only will the solar panels reduce the centre’s running costs for years to come, they will cut its carbon emissions further, helping us to tackle the challenges of climate change. Reducing running costs is also great news for Everyone Active at a financially challenging time for all leisure operators.

Hasan Romel, Everyone Active Area Contract Manager, adds: “We are delighted the Council has been successful in Phase II of the funding and it is great news that this project will further reduce the centre’s carbon footprint. 

“As a result of the energy crisis, we as an organisation, have seen our energy bills more than double. The implementation of the solar panels at White Oak Leisure Centre marks a significant step towards reducing the leisure centre’s carbon footprint and simultaneously lowering energy costs. 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.”