How Palatine Library is being transformed into a beacon for eco friendly lifestyles as part of a £1m project

People will be able to learn how to make their homes more energy efficient
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A Blackpool library is being overhauled to become the town's first eco hub as part of a £1m investment aimed at encouraging residents to become more energy efficient.

The Blackpool Eco Hub (picture from Blackpool Council)The Blackpool Eco Hub (picture from Blackpool Council)
The Blackpool Eco Hub (picture from Blackpool Council)

Palatine Library on St Annes Road, South Shore, is being retrofitted with low-carbon technology to ensure the building is operationally net-zero carbon and can act as an example to the community of what can be achieved.

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The transformation will include fitting air source heat pumps and solar panels as well as a full upgrade to energy-efficient LED lighting.

An external living wall and rain garden will also be created in the form of a vertical structure which holds plants and greenery connected to an irrigation system. Designed to absorb water run-off, it captures rainwater before it reaches the drainage system and can reduce the risk of flooding.

Funding of £1,069,345 has been allocated to the low carbon projects, which is from a total award of £5m to the council from the government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF).

A report to a meeting of the Climate Change and Environment Scrutiny Committee on March 20 says the eco hub "will also be used as a base to educate the public on the many benefits of sustainable living". It will provide "guidance and information to local people on how they can reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency at home."

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Opportunities to use the eco hub to engage with the business community are also being explored. Funding will also be used to demonstrate how heat generated by computers at data centres can be transferred efficiently into heating systems for buildings.

Solaris CentreSolaris Centre
Solaris Centre

The technology, which will be tested on a small scale at the Solaris Centre on South Promenade, could eventually be used at data centres proposed for the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

It could also cut the amount of gas needed to heat the Solaris Centre itself with heat being pumped into the reception area.

The eco-hub will also offer people home visits for a domestic energy assessment and the chance to receive low-cost energy-saving devices such as draft proofing, low-energy lightbulbs and radiator reflector panels.

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