ENVIRONMENTALLY friendly decarbonisation measures are to be installed at Tiverton’s Exe Valley Leisure Centre after councillors gave the go-ahead.

Gas boilers at the Mid Devon District Council-owned leisure centre will be replaced with heat pump technology, while solar car ports and additional solar panels will be help reduce the building’s carbon emissions.

The work, which is also taking place at Lords Meadow Leisure Centre in Crediton, will allow both to move away from high-cost fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

It will be funded by £2.8 million secured from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of its public sector decarbonisation scheme.

The grant follows a successful bid for more than £300,000 in 2021 from the same scheme, used to replace the lighting at the council’s three leisure centres with energy efficient LED lighting.

Members of the council’s planning committee unanimously granted permission for the Tiverton project.

Initial work on the related ground source heating installation began in October as part of permitted development rights.

Approval for the rest of the scheme comes after a council report said the works will “help sustain the future of the leisure centre, which is an important facility for residents in Tiverton and the aim to increase the self-sufficiency of the town”.

Cllr Dennis Knowles (Independent, Lowman), cabinet member for community wellbeing, previously said in a statement: “This work shows we are investing in our community facilities, future proofing them for our customers, reducing our long-term energy costs and moving towards our carbon neutral ambitions.”

Ollie Heptinstall