Swindon's biggest leisure centre has received more than £100,000 for improvements.

Sport England’s Swimming Pool Support Fund awarded the Link Centre £115,460 to make the site more energy efficient by adding solar panels to the roof and upgrading the pool’s lighting to use less energy.

The successful funding bid from Swindon Borough Council will increase the environmentally-friendly aspects of the centre and reduce energy costs for operators GLL.

Most of the money will go towards the cost of the new roof panels which will provide panels to the Link Centre’s roof which will provide approximately 103,000kWh of green electricity

The investment is the latest set of improvements to be made to the Link Centre since a devastating flood last September closed the facility for several months.

At the end of last year, the council procured new state-of-the-art ice technology and equipment using part of the £2 million funding the local authority had previously allocated to leisure provision to replace the ice rink that was destroyed by the flood water.

The new ice installation, which cost £385,000, is expected to reduce electricity usage by 20 per cent, saving the equivalent of 283 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, which will help GLL reduce its carbon output in line with its own and the council’s Net Zero ambitions.

The solar panels and efficient lighting will be installed over the next 12 months.

Cllr Jim Grant, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet member for communities and joint working, said: “This award is really great news for the Link Centre and builds on our previous investment in the ice rink.

“We need to make our leisure centres as sustainable as possible so that operators can continue to afford to run them.

"By installing solar panels and using energy-efficient lighting we can reduce running costs and help secure the Link Centre’s long-term future.

“The improvements also support our mission to achieve net zero and help us play our part in combatting climate change.”

Barnaby Rich, GLL’s partnership manager for Swindon, said: “We would like to thank Swindon Borough Council for helping to secure this significant financial award, which will transform energy usage within the leisure centre.

“The installation of the solar panels builds on the measures we put in place during 2023 to improve the energy efficiency of the Link’s ice rink and aligns with GLL’s ‘Respecting the Planet’ organisational strategy and the council’s commitment to carbon net zero.”