Solar panels for all rooftops as Blackpool leads way on climate response

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Blackpool prides itself on providing sun and fun – and now it hopes to capture solar energy.

A study has been commissioned to identify all rooftops in the borough that are suitable for solar panel installations, while investigations are underway into installing solar panels on an initial seven council buildings.

The measures are part of the resort’s Climate Action Plan.

Scott Butterfield, strategy, policy and research manager at the council, told a town hall meeting: “Since this started we have seen how the agenda has been accepted across the council with engagement at many levels.”

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Blackpool is set to use solar panels to capture energy from the sunBlackpool is set to use solar panels to capture energy from the sun
Blackpool is set to use solar panels to capture energy from the sun

This also includes designs for the £100m new civil service hub in King Street which will meet the highest environmental standards.

But challenges remain around improving insulation and energy efficiency in Blackpool homes, which are the main source of emissions in the town.

Mr Butterfield outlined the next steps to a meeting of the council’s tourism, economy and communities scrutiny committee including the Shared Prosperity Fund Investment Plan totalling £745,000.

This will help fund an eco hub to demonstrate low carbon technology and give advice to residents about making their homes more energy efficient.

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‘Eco coaches’ will be appointed to work across the town to deliver small measures and practical guidance to on how to reduce emissions and energy costs.

The grant will also fund a scheme to increase the amount of rain water captured and stored, reducing the impact from heavy rainfall as part of flood protection measures.

Mr Butterfield said the next three priorities were adaptation (infrastructure in place to cope with changing weather events due to climate change); measurements (study of emissions); and scheme delivery (including the work funded by the Shared Prosperity Fund).

The Blackpool Climate Action Partnership met for a second time in December, while the Fylde Youth Climate Conference organised by Blackpool Sixth FormCollege is due to be held in March.

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A Climate Action Fund has also been set up by the council with an initial £42,000 used to establish a town-wide ‘green doctor’ post in collaboration with environmental charity Groundwork.

The 12-month post will support residents through the cost of living crisis in a sustainable way, helping to lower domestic energy bills through energy efficiency measures, therefore saving carbon emissions.

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