Leeds Council bids £15m for renewable energy in schools and public buildings

Leeds City Council hopes to be able to spend another £15m on green heating and energy systems for schools and other public buildings, according to a document seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Sunday, 3rd October 2021, 4:45 am

A council officer’s decision notice published this week lists “renewable energy works” for council buildings, but does not go into detail about where this would be, or what sources of energy would be used.

It is understood a bid for a government fund to help finance the scheme is currently being put together, with a decision expected later this month.

The notice described: “An injection into the capital programme and authority to spend to the value of up to £15m to deliver renewable energy generation or other energy efficiency measures across a range of LCC buildings and schools.

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“Implementation of the decision will be subject to a successful funding application outcome from the BEIS Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, and will therefore be cost neutral to the council.”

The decision is listed to be made “no later than October 29”, two days after Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to present his autumn budget to Parliament.

Although the council would not issue an official response, it is understood the work is subject to extra funds being allocated from the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) in this month’s autumn budget.

The deadline for the latest round of PSDS funding is November 3, but the council is likely to submit earlier, as applications are assessed in the order they are recieved.

If the council was to receive funding from Government, it is thought the authority would broadly be looking at fitting new methods of heating in schools, children’s centres, and council offices benefiting.

Certain kinds of work would also be subject to securing planning permission.

It follows a successful bid to the fund earlier this year, when the authority secured £25.3m to spend on solar panels and heat pumps in 28 schools, leisure centres and other council-owned buildings.

This meant popular destinations such as John Charles Leisure Centre and Temple Newsam will be part powered by renewable energy generated on site.

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