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Willmott Dixon’s secures Oxford leisure decarbonisation programme

The Business Magazine article image for: Willmott Dixon’s secures Oxford leisure decarbonisation programme
12 October 2021

Willmott Dixon has been appointed 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.

With leisure centres making up around 40 per cent of the council’s building carbon emissions, the change will significantly reduce their carbon output.

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. 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.

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: “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.

The SCF is a public sector construction framework helping other public sector organisations with the procurement of their construction projects.

It has delivered just under £7 billion worth of combined construction schemes, establishing it as a leading procurement framework.



Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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