New boiler should secure future of city leisure centre

Secure future?: Fulwood Leisure Centre, which could get a new boiler system
Secure future?: Fulwood Leisure Centre, which could get a new boiler system
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A new heating system looks set to be installed in a city leisure centre to help secure its future.

Two boilers are used in Fulwood Leisure Centre to heat the swimming pools and hot water system, but one has now failed.

Town Hall chiefs say repairs would cost thousands, and a breakdown in the other boiler could lead to closure of the centre.

Now Preston Council’s cabinet has been recommended to approve a scheme for a new £140k biomass boiler.

A report to councillors said: “The ‘lead’ boiler of the two is a condensing boiler which is supported at times of peak requirement by the second, conventional boiler.

“The lead boiler has now failed and would require repairs costing an estimated £20 to £25k to bring it back into service. The remaining boiler therefore has no back-up support and should it break-down, even temporarily, this could result in pool, or full centre closure, with consequential loss of revenue and potential adverse reputational impact.

“To replace the existing condensing boiler with a new like-for-like gas-fired boiler would cost an estimated £50k plus financing costs.”

The report said the £140,000 project would be a payback scheme, over a period of 17.4 years.

That is longer than the council’s recommended payback period of 15 years for energy efficiency schemes.

It said the estimated life of the biomass boiler was 20 years, and the council would apply for a government renewable heat incentive (RHI) grant once it was installed.

The grant is payable over 20 years, after which the full cost of running the boiler would have to be financed by the council.