Leisure centres across Leeds receive green boost: John Charles Solar Pannels

19 Nov 2021

Leisure centres across Leeds receive green boost

Climate change Clean air/air quality Leisure and sport

Leeds City Council leisure and wellbeing centres will soon house some of the greenest gyms and pools in the city, thanks to a more than 10million pounds of investment in low carbon upgrades.

With work at several key Active Leeds leisure centres across the city already crossing the finishing line, local residents and leisure centre users are already enjoying buildings and pools powered mostly using low-carbon heat and renewable energy.

Leeds City Council have partnered with energy and regeneration expert EQUANS to fit 3154 solar panels enough to cover 21 tennis courts, and district heating specialists Cenergist will install 22 heat pumps across the sites.

In total, the scheme will result in 1487 metric tonnes of CO2 being saved by leisure centres every year. The benefits don’t stop there, with the work to install the upgrades helping to create skilled green jobs based in Leeds.

The upgrades will ensure that the city’s leisure centres will continue to play their vital role supporting communities and developing the next generation of athletes, from grassroots through to Olympians, without contributing to climate change.  

To allow for the next stage of the work, the swimming pools at both Kippax and Rothwell leisure centres will close between the 16 December and 10 January, allowing for vital preparation work to take place safely.

The rest of the centres and all other Active Leeds sites will remain open, except during the normal Christmas closing times. Residents can find their nearest alternative leisure centre online here.

Once completed the work at Kippax and Rothwell leisure centres will see the installation of four heat pumps and 822 solar panels, leading to combined saving of 332.8 metric of CO2 a year across both sites every year.  

Councillor Salma Arif, executive member for public health and active lifestyles, said:
Leeds’ community leisure centres have played a key role in the city’s sporting success. We are proud of the way they inspire and train the next generation of sporting stars, as well as helping residents to live healthier, more active lifestyles.

“This multi-million pound investment demonstrates our commitment to improving community leisure centres and making them fit for a cleaner, greener and more energy secure future.”

Sean Corcoran, regional director at EQUANS, said: “We’re delighted to bring our expertise of delivering low carbon solutions to this project and to be making a real difference to people in Leeds. Creating cleaner, greener environments is vital as we all work collectively to address climate change.

“We’re proud to be working with forward thinking partners such as Leeds City Council to help achieve their zero carbon ambitions and we are pleased to highlight the important work underway to decarbonise homes and public buildings.”

Notes to Editors:

Low carbon upgrades across Leeds City Council leisure centres are being funded through funds secured by Leeds City Council from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. The total investment into leisuere centres across Leeds is £10.145 million.

For more information on the wider scheme: https://gloo.to/6SSY

Active Leeds leisure and wellbeing centres where work is taking place:

  • John Charles Bowls/Athletics
  • John Charles Tennis
  • John Charles Aquatics
  • Scott Hall
  • John Smeaton
  • Kirkstall
  • Aireborough
  • Wetherby
  • Rothwell
  • Kippax

Leisure centre

Number of heat pumps

Number of solar panels

Other measures 

Combined annual carbon saving (tonnes per year)

John Charles Centre for Sport





Scott Hall




John Smeaton



LED lighting














LED lighting












For media enquiries contact:

Nick Jones
Leeds City Council