More than 1,000 solar panels to be installed on top of Harrogate Convention Centre after plans approved

More than 1,000 solar panels are to be installed on top of Harrogate Convention Centre in a bid to reduce the building's carbon footprint.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 9:36 am
Harrogate Convention Centre.

Harrogate Borough Council has approved its own plans for 1,077 solar panels on several buildings at the venue which is the largest energy consumer of all buildings in the district.

The solar panels will save 24 tonnes of Co2 each year and be paid for with £375,000 of decarbonisation funding from the government.

Energy efficient lighting, air source heat pumps and insulation will also be installed at the venue which hosted a business conference event as part of the first Harrogate Climate Action Festival on Friday.

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A council spokesperson said: "The grant is enabling the delivery of a fully-funded carbon reduction scheme, supporting the proactive delivery of our carbon reduction strategy and reducing the council's annual carbon emissions by 70 tonnes per year."

Using cash from the same decarbonisation scheme, 420 solar panels and air source heat pumps will also be installed at the Hydro swimming pool in Harrogate in a move which could reduce the venue's annual Co2 emissions by 577 tonnes.

Harrogate District Hospital also received £14m to reduce its carbon footprint by 25%, while North Yorkshire County Council was awarded just under £2m to improve the efficiency of its buildings.

Meanwhile, Harrogate Borough Council is pushing ahead with plans for a potential £47m redevelopment of Harrogate Convention Centre after warning it may not survive without major investment.

The 40-year-old venue was struggling financially before the pandemic and was used as a 500-bed NHS Nightingale hospital for almost a year.

It did not treat a single coronavirus patient and the facility was dismantled earlier this year.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter