18 civic buildings in Lancaster & Morecambe declare 2030 climate change target

A comprehensive report on the work that will be needed to make 18 of Lancaster’s civic buildings carbon neutral by 2030 has been drawn up – as part of the battle against climate change.

The council declared a Climate Emergency in January 2019 and has been taking action to increase energy efficiency and reduce its carbon emissions.

In the latest move, the council commissioned Buro Happold Ltd, a leading engineering consultancy, to investigate options for decarbonising 18 of its buildings including Lancaster and Morecambe town halls, the city and maritime museums, and The Platform entertainment venue in Morecambe.

The report, which has just been published, recommends a set of detailed, practical, and deliverable plans to help the council achieve its ambitions.

Lancaster Town Hall is one of 18 city council buildings set to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The resulting action plan will guide and shape future investment in the council’s buildings and includes a set of short, medium, and long-term actions.

These include, depending on the building, the installation of ground or air sourced heat pumps, solar PV and building fabric upgrades.

Funding for the report was made available by a £150,000 grant from BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy).

Councillor Kevin Frea, cabinet member with responsibility for climate action, said: “The council’s older buildings are among the most energy inefficient and it’s fantastic to see progress is being made to upgrade these sites to make them more energy efficient.

The Platform in Morecambe is also on the carbon neutral list.

“The action plan will require significant investment and we are actively exploring a number of external funding streams.“

The total cost of all the works identified in the report is estimated at £15million, of which £1million has already been secured through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS). Opportunities to bid for external funding are in the process of being identified.

It’s estimated that upgrading the buildings will remove 1,713 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year by 2030, the equivalent annual CO2 emissions of 535 average homes.

The 18 buildings on the carbon neutral list are Lancaster Town Hall, Morecambe Town Hall, Palatine Hall, Lancaster City Museum, Ryelands House, Lancaster Maritime Museum, Old Mans Rest, Williamson Park, The Platform, The Storey, City Lab, White Lund Depot, Melling House, Beck View, Glebe Court, Ripley Court, Parkside Court and Kingsway Court.

The full report is available on the council’s website at Lancaster.gov.uk/climate-emergency.