As various sector bodies try to lobby government for funding support, we’ve been surprised at the approaches taken given some of the geopolitical issues being faced by the UK – the biggest of all which is climate change.

We did find it rather frustrating that Swim England’s recent launch of its doom-laden ‘Decade of Decline’ report barely made reference to the decarbonisation agenda. (And yes, we did try to influence them.)

With imminent price increases for gas and electricity – there has never been a better time to sort out energy efficiency within the sport and leisure sector.

Whilst many of the ‘asks’ of government have made some reference to modernising leisure assets, the big opportunity to move towards net zero and to support local authorities respond to the climate emergency seems to have been overlooked as ‘the big play’.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) provides grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures. There are currently three phases of the scheme.

Government is ploughing millions into Councils looking to reduce their carbon footprint – and often the biggest culprits are ageing swimming pools. Phase 3 will open to applications on 6 October 2021.

A number of local authorities have benefitted from this funding with support from SLC and our strategic energy partners BSSEC, for example Bassetlaw DC.

BSSEC are currently writing national guidance on decarbonised heat with the Institute of Engineering and Technology and supported SLC in the development of up-to-date energy guidance within the Sport England Leisure Services Delivery Guidance. Their strategic advice is leading edge and we share the same values and approach to providing advisory support.

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26 Summit) will held in Glasgow in November will again raise awareness globally of the challenge ahead. The potential to use this issue as a key driver for modernisation of leisure assets cannot be ignored by those lobbying for financial support from government.

To assist our clients in capitalising on the opportunities this presents, working with BSSEC we are able to:

  1. Support Councils in developing net zero strategies for their leisure and cultural assets
  2. Provide strategic advice on what their requirements to support decarbonisation and energy savings and what the quantum of those savings could be
  3. Support Councils in establishing as part of their feasibility and business cases the positive impact investment can bring to their wider decarbonisation agenda.

So if you want to take a more environmental approach to transforming your asset base, get in touch.