Hot green water for Oxford’s pool

Hinksey outdoor pool is 52m long and 35m wide and one of the biggest in the south of England

Hinksey pool in Oxford, one of the largest outdoor swimming pools in the south of England, is about to get £1.6 million to be greener.

The cash grant will allow the pool to power its site using a local heat network, consisting of water source heat pumps, batteries and thermal storage.

The money comes from £10.9 million in funding from the BEIS Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund, given to Oxford City Council to reduce carbon dioxide emissions across its building portfolios.

The local authority will spend a total of £9.3 million to replace gas boilers with heat pumps in five of the local authority’s biggest carbon-emitting sites and invest in a local solar farm.

A heat pump is a renewable heating system which extracts low-temperature energy stored in the ground, water or air and concentrates this energy to produce a higher temperature.

Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, said: “This £10.9 million boost will enable the City Council to make big savings in carbon and energy. It provides one-third of the funding needed to end our contribution to global warming by 2030.

“Hinksey Pools is on track to become an even better place to enjoy a dip, cutting its carbon footprint in half and doubling the enjoyment of visitors. Other sites will benefit from heat pumps replacing gas boilers so that our citizens can directly enjoy the upgrades in the knowledge that they are meeting the climate crisis.”

Oxford City Council has pledged to reach net zero in its own operations by 2030.

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