A local nursery and childrens centre is replacing an old gas boiler with an air source heat pump as part of wider work to make Torbay carbon neutral by 2030.

As part of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, Torbay Council and TDA have been awarded £59,000 for the new equipment which will provide low carbon heating for the whole Watcombe Childrens Centre Nursery site in Torquay.

The work will save an estimated 183 tCO2 (measurement of carbon dioxide emissions) over its lifetime and save Watcombe Childrens Centre Nursery £330 off their annual energy bills. Part of the Council’s carbon neutral action which includes plans to decarbonise its estate and work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Nik Salter from Watcombe Childrens Centre Nursery said: “Watcombe Childrens Centre Nursery is proud to have the opportunity to install new air source pumps and will complement our solar panels that we have already purchased, which is already reducing our impact on the environment.

“Together we can help the environment by reducing our carbon footprint and we continue to look at new ways of reducing our footprint even further.”

Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to secure this funding for Watcombe Childrens Centre Nursery to upgrade its heating system. This will not only be more environmentally friendly but will save the nursery hundreds of pounds on their heating bills every year.”

Councillor Mike Morey Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said: “When it comes to reducing Torbay’s carbon footprint, everything helps, so this is another important step along the way, as well as making Watcombe Childrens Centre Nursery more energy efficient.”

Work is already underway to decarbonise several buildings in Torbay and the Watcombe Childrens Centre Nursery improvements will follow heat pumps being installed last year at Torbay Leisure Centre (where solar panels, LED lighting and ventilation were also part of a wider scheme) and at the Arid House at Torre Abbey.

Torbay Council is working with a range of local partners through the Torbay Climate Partnership to help make Torbay Carbon Neutral by 2030. They are looking at a range of measures to help reduce Torbay’s carbon footprint, from developing solar farms, to decarbonising Torbay Leisure Centre and other buildings by installing heat pumps and other measures, planting trees, and securing funding to install electric vehicle charging points at car parks across Torbay.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme which is funding the Watcombe Childrens Centre Nursery project provides grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures. The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme supports the aim of reducing emissions from public sector buildings by 75% by 2037, compared to a 2017 baseline.

You can find out more about Torbay’s work to tackle climate change on our website here 

The work is expected to start later in the Spring.

Pictured in the attached image, left to right, are Clare Chamberlain and Nik Salter (both from Watcombe Childrens Centre and Nursery), Barry Powell, Mechanical Project Manager from TDA, Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, and Steve’s guide dog Jennie.

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