The council is installing a range of energy efficiency in the Colosseum and Town Hall as part of its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030, with scaffolding being installed to start works..
Over the next year, a £3.2m grant from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, will be used to improve the energy performance of the buildings and to transition to low carbon heating for both heritage buildings. In addition, the works will include: installing PV panels for renewable energy, thermally efficient window refurbishments to reduce heat loss, as well as new insulation and improvements to lighting and heating efficiency.
This ‘decarbonisation’ project is a significant part of the council’s 10-year Town Hall Quarter programme, which will deliver substantial investment to the area over the next decade that will create jobs, enhance the town’s heritage, boost creative opportunities for entertainment and live performances and contribute to achieving a greener, more sustainable town.
To transform and make better use of the space, eight connected projects will inject new life into the site and venues, including a new location for the town’s Museum and Heritage service and additional spaces to support local cultural organisations and charities in the town. More appealing public spaces and much needed new homes will then be created later within the Town Hall Quarter.
Peter Taylor, Elected Mayor of Watford, said: “This is really positive news and the funding we have secured will support two of our ambitions for Watford. We are committed to being a vibrant, diverse and creative town with a range of cultural venues and performances for all our community.
“We also recognise the vital importance of tackling climate change, protecting the environment for generations to come by achieving carbon neutrality in the next decade. Bringing the Colosseum up to modern energy standards, as part of our overall plans for the venue, means it will be able to open its doors to audiences for many years to come.”
Cllr Ian Stotesbury, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Transport said “Most of the council's public buildings still rely on fossil fuel-based heating and as these heating systems approach the end of their working lives it is an ideal opportunity to transition to low carbon heating.
“In the case of the Colosseum and Town Hall, the current systems are obsolete and beyond their natural working life making them expensive to run and maintain. Transitioning to low carbon heating and improving the energy performance of our buildings including our heritage assets provides them with a sustainable future.”
The Town Hall Quarter programme will deliver a significant saving to the council’s accommodation costs of around £300k each year, as well paving to way for the Colosseum to contribute £2million to the local economy each year.