SOLAR panels, air-source heat pumps and LED lighting would be installed in public buildings as part of a £5.7m ‘decarbonisation’ project.

Leigh Sports Village, Howe Bridge Leisure Centre, Atherton and The Turnpike in Leigh are among the locations which will all benefit from the plans.

Lower-energy LED lights would be installed across all sites, helping to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions in line with targets.

Windows at the new school site would be upgraded and a new roof and ground-source heat pump would be installed under the plans.

Air-source heat pumps would be installed at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre and Leigh Turnpike where the boiler would be replaced to reduce energy usage.

Solar panels would be installed at Leigh Sports Village using this funding too.

It comes after Wigan council declared a climate emergency in July 2019 and committed to a net-zero carbon target to be achieved by 2038 or sooner.

In September 2020, the government announced a national funding scheme to support the decarbonisation of public buildings, inviting council to bid for cash.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has already received approval from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for its joint bid, according to a report by Wigan council which would receive £5.7m.

The local authority approved the grant application on Thursday (April 15).

Heather Coombs, strategic manager for buildings and facilities management at Wigan Council, told the cabinet that the project is 100 pc grant funded.

She said: “We’re looking to incorporate a variety of technology such as air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, solar panels and we’ll also be changing lighting to LED lights.

“These strategies take away the use of gas so it’s a more sustainable heat source that we’re looking to do.”

Labour councillor Paul Prescott, who is the lead member for the environment, said this project will help the council achieve its net-zero carbon commitment.

He said: “We must first put our own houses in order and that means in this instance the decarbonisation of the public estate.

“Approving the grant agreement will put us on the path to achieving those important aims.”

The project was signed off by Wigan Council’s cabinet on Thursday (April 15).