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EU funding to help heat up swimming pool in Cornwall, UK

Jubillee Pool, Penzance, Cornwall, UK (source: flckr/ Lexy5by5, creative commons)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 24 Nov 2016

The European Regional Development Fund has announced a EUR 1.8 million grant for the drilling of a geothermal well to heat up a local pool in Cornwall, UK to Geothermal Engineering Limited.

In a locally released press release it is announced that a local pool, Penzance’s Jubilee Pool, will be partially heated through geothermal hot water by as early as 2018 thanks to a GBP1.4m  (EUR 1.8 million) European grant.  The innovative project, which will be run by industry specialists Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL) working with the local community, is the first of its kind in the country.

The pool has recently undergone a major repair and renovation project following the winter storms in 2014.  Whilst the majority of Jubilee Pool will maintain its refreshing temperature, visitors can look forward to enjoying a heated section of the pool.

The GBP1.4m European Regional Development Fund grant will enable GEL to drill and develop a geothermal well on the site. Private investment has also been secured for this stage of the project leaving approximately GBP 500,000 funding still to be found for the final works to the iconic structure.  It is hoped that the outstanding balance for this exciting plan will be secured with the support of fans of the project through a fundraising campaign.

Whilst a ground breaking and innovative project like this does have high initial costs, once installed, hot water bills and concerns about fluctuating energy prices will become a thing of the past.  In addition, geothermal energy is clean energy and so emissions of greenhouse gases are drastically reduced.  Also, the learning and expertise gained from this project can then be exported elsewhere giving Cornwall the chance to be a leader in geothermal technology and installation.

It is hoped that this project will allow the pool to be open for a longer season which will improve its sustainability and provide significant economic benefits for the wider community of Penzance.

Ryan Law, Geothermal Engineering Limited said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for us in Cornwall. Jubilee Pool will be the first deep geothermal heat project in the UK for over a quarter of a century.  We hope that the project will help to promote both the pool as a destination in itself and deep geothermal energy across Cornwall and beyond. ”

Martin Nixon, Chair of The Friends of Jubilee Pool, said: My brother Charles initially proposed heating a section of the pool with geothermal energy over five years ago, so I’m very excited to see his fantastic idea move closer to reality.  I’m confident it will be hugely popular locally, and that tourists from across the world will flock to Penzance all year round to experience this unique facility. The resulting economic benefits to Penzance should be significant.

Mike Lovegrove, Mayor of Penzance, said “following on from the significant efforts to relaunch the Jubilee Pool after the storm damage of 2014 I am personally excited by the potential for this innovative project to extend the operating season of a small section of the pool into both late spring and early autumn.

Should the project be delivered successfully and realise its indicated potential – It will help promote the Jubilee Pool and Penzance in a new way, at the forefront of the implementation and use of green technologies.”

Source: Cornwall & Isles of Scilly