SHROPSHIRE Council will fund a climate-friendly modern all-electric plant system at the new Whitchurch Swimming and Fitness Centre.

The centre, which is scheduled to open in 2025, will have air source heat pumps to heat the swimming pool, showers and the building, helping the council achieve its goal of having a net zero carbon footprint by 2030.

The building itself is is aimed at having high standards in sustainability, including in the building’s energy and carbon performance.


Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s deputy Leader, and Cabinet member for climate change, environment and transport, said: “It is well documented that energy costs have increased dramatically, and for many councils it has meant a reduction or even closure in leisure services.

“When Shropshire Council voted in favour of building this new £13.1m facility in Whitchurch, it was clear we needed to invest in the most cost effective and climate-friendly system.

“We are committed to making our council buildings more sustainable and lowering our carbon output, and I am delighted that the funds have been set aside from our climate budget to fund this modern and sustainable plant.

“It means the operation of the swimming and fitness centre will be carbon neutral from the moment it opens.”

Air source heat pumps work by transferring heat from outside air into water, which can then heat rooms via radiators or underfloor heating. It can also heat water being stored in a hot water cylinder for hot taps, showers and baths.

The pumps will use zero-carbon electricity to run, but use less electrical energy than the heat it produces, making it more energy efficient.

Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for culture and digital, added: “We are very excited to see construction progress on the new pool and fitness centre.

“It is going to be a community space, accessible to all and offering a wide range of activities, services, support and entertainment to the community and people from further afield.

“And it is important that it meets the needs of users in terms of sustainability and function for many years.”

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Funded by Shropshire Council, the centre will include a six-lane 25m pool, 41-station fitness suite and café on the ground floor, complemented by multi-function rooms on the first floor, which can be used for classes, clubs, events and more.

The state-of-the-art centre will also welcome visitors from surrounding areas, driving economic growth and creating new opportunities for local businesses.

Tom Biggins, Shropshire Councillor for Whitchurch North, added: “I am very pleased that the heating system will also be environmentally friendly.”