A LEISURE centre and school in the Forest are working together towards “a greener future” by sharing resources to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs.

Lydney’s Dean Academy and Freedom Leisure have teamed up with the district council to share data and information on how they can reduce their energy usage over the next few years.

The partnership comes as a result of the council securing funding with several partners from across Europe for the AURORA project, for which the Forest is being used as a case study for “community decarbonisation”.

Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Paul Hiett, said of the partnership:“This is a great step towards tackling the climate emergency in the Forest of Dean.

“To be able to actively support the leisure centre and school in addressing and cutting carbon emissions will help to not only reduce the energy usage, but also to help protect the leisure centre and school against rising energy costs.

“This is just the start of this fantastic project and I’d like to personally thank all staff and partners who have been involved in bringing this partnership together and look forward to making a real difference by reducing carbon in the Forest.”

The Forest Energy Community Initiative will see partners work with communities to reduce their emissions and establish a community solar energy scheme.

Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency, Cllr Chris McFarling, added: “It is of great encouragement to see local and international partners coming together to reduce carbon footprints.

“This project will help demonstrate to young people that we can best tackle the climate emergency by working together.” 

Angela Brown of Freedom Leisure commented: “Operating a leisure centre, particularly with a swimming pool, can use a lot of energy.

“Working with local partners and putting measures in place to reduce our carbon emissions and rising energy costs can only be good for our service, the planet and the community we serve.”

Jayne Barnett from The Dean Academy added: “We are about the future.

“Our students learn and ask about the Climate Emergency nearly every day and working with partners including the District Council we can learn from each other and our community and take direct action to tackle and reduce our carbon emissions.”

Locals and interested groups are being encouraged to sign up to hear updates about the project as it develops by going to www.eepurl.com/h5l4lf.

More information about the AURORA project can be found at www.news.fdean.gov.uk/news/council-to-benefit-from-european-investment-to-help-communities-tackle-climate-emergency.