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Adult learning centres to be made zero carbon-ready

Three local adult learning centres are set to be transformed into zero carbon-ready buildings through a series of low carbon improvements that will begin this week, as part of Council efforts to make the borough carbon neutral by 2030.

The Brockley Rise adult learning centre will become the first Lewisham Council building with a ground source heat pump, using heat stored in the ground to power the centre’s heating and hot water. Other improvements to the centre include the installation of solar panels and LED lighting to save electricity and insulated heating pipes to reduce heat loss.

Further low carbon building improvements will start next month at Granville Park and Grove Park adult learning centres. These buildings will have LED lighting, solar panels and air source heat pumps installed, which use heat from the air to generate heating and hot water.

With the reduction in energy use and the switch away from gas, the centres will become zero carbon buildings once the UK’s electricity system is decarbonised, which is currently expected to happen in 2035.

These works will be paid for through the Council’s successful bid for over £3.7 million in central government funding to help Lewisham become a carbon zero borough by 2030, which was announced earlier this year. 

Brockley Rise is also set to undergo a wider range of refurbishment works at the start of next year, including a modern new entrance, an improved café, a new reception area, a dedicated advice and guidance space and a new exhibition space.

Cllr Patrick Codd, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Buildings account for a huge amount of carbon emissions if they’re relying on fossil fuels for heat and hot water, which is why we’re moving these centres and other Council buildings and housing over to greener methods of power - as part of our work to address the climate emergency.

“These improvements will mark a key milestone in our commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2030 and creating a greener Lewisham for future generations.”

Cllr André Bourne, Cabinet Member for Culture, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our adult learning centres, which provide comfortable and welcoming spaces where local residents can learn new skills, build on their knowledge and meet people from all walks of life.

“With these improvements, adult learners at Brockley Rise, Grove Park and Granville Park can enjoy learning in an eco-friendly environment that ultimately contributes towards cleaner air and a healthier and greener borough.”

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