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Torfaen Council to get £1.082 million interest-free loan to fund energy saving measures at sports centres

TORFAEN council is to borrow £1.082 million to fund LED floodlights and other energy efficiency adaptations at sports centres. 

The sites are run by the independent charity Torfaen Leisure Trust, which was formed in 2013 to manage sports and activity centres previously run by the council. 

Last year the five sites consumed 7,200 megawatts of electricity at a cost of £425,000 – which was one of the largest users in the ownership of the county borough. The bills totalled £180,000 for gas and a massive £245,000 on electricity. 

Rising prices could mean from April  next year the trust will have to pay up to £440,000 for lighting and other electricity costs and £360,000 for gas, though further plans to reduce heating bills will be made after a further review and advice. 

It’s estimated the loan, that will have to be paid back by the council at a rate of £260,000 annually for four years, will produce the same amount in savings every year, meaning the loan will be clawed back in four and a half years. 

As well as the floodlights, and installing internal and external LED lighting at all five trust sites, including the Pontypool Ski Chalet, the loan will pay for the installation of solar panels at Cwmbran’s Fairwater Leisure Centre and the Bowden Active Living Centre, which provides indoor sports facilities in Trevethin, Pontypool. 

Additional solar panels will also added at Cwmbran Stadium and Pontypool leisure centre as well as some minor works. 

The council estimates the improvements will reduce carbon emissions from the five buildings by 349 tonnes of CO2 a year. 

It says this will contribute to improving the environment and save on electricity bills including if, or when, buildings switch to heating by electricity. Cost savings will also help secure the longer term future of the centres. 

The council is obtaining the interest-free loan from government backed Salix Finance which provides funding to the public sector to improve energy efficiency. The deal is subject to the council and leisure trust striking an agreement on repayments. 

Council chief executive Stephen Vickers, in consultation with leader Anthony Hunt, gave the go-ahead for the loan application without the approval of the full cabinet, and without going through the council’s normal scrutiny procedures, as meetings weren’t held following the death of the Queen on September 8. 

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Torfaen Council to get £1.082 million interest-free loan to fund energy saving measures at sports centres

Torfaen Pickleball Club at Cwmbran Stadium
Cwmbran Stadium