Willmott Dixon has been selected by Oxford City Council to deliver an extensive decarbonisation programme, which will see four of the city’s leisure centres reduce their emissions by converting from fossil fuels to water and air source heat pumps.  

Procured using the SCF framework, the upgrades will form a key part of the council’s plan to be Zero Carbon across its own estate and operations by 2030.  Working in collaboration, the project will oversee the installation of water and air source heat pumps at four leisure facilities; Ferry Leisure Centre, Leys Pool and Leisure Centre, Barton Leisure Centre and Hinksey Outdoor Pool. With leisure centres making up around 40% of the council’s building carbon emissions, the change will significantly reduce their carbon output.  

Councillor Mary Clarkson, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said: “This is a very exciting project to secure the future of our leisure centres as we move towards a low-carbon future. We know how important our leisure centres are for physical and mental health, consequently we are working closely with our contractors to minimise the disruption and the impact on the local area.”

Richard Poulter, managing director from Willmott Dixon’s Central South region said: “We are proud to be working alongside Oxford City Council on this exciting carbon reduction project, which will deliver a step change in the mitigation of fossil fuels in the local community.    

“The programme is close to our heart and through our own 2030 ‘Now or Never’ Sustainability strategy, we have committed to achieving net zero operational carbon on all our new buildings and major refurbishments within the next decade.  We look forward to assisting our customer on their own journey to Net Zero.” 

James Wright, framework manager at SCF, said, “SCF is extremely proud to have played a key role in the procurement for this important decarbonisation programme. Reducing carbon emissions is a key challenge for the industry and it is great to see our contractors and clients working collaboratively on their way to achieving net zero.”    

The project marks the latest collaboration between Willmott Dixon and Oxford City Council.  Breaking ground in September, the team are onsite at Lucy Faithfull House, a flagship Oxford housing scheme that will form part of the ‘Oxford Needs Homes’ development programme.  The company are also working with St Peter’s College at the University of Oxford to deliver two Passive House Institute Low Energy Building Standard accommodation blocks, providing 54 bedrooms for the college’s students.