COUNCIL leaders have backed plans to look at whether sewage could be used to heat an Eastbourne swimming pool.

At a meeting on Wednesday, members of Eastbourne Borough Council’s Lib Dem cabinet agreed to release up to £115,000 to look at whether a sewage-powered energy facility could be built at the Sovereign Centre.

According to council papers, such a facility could see energy extracted from the town’s sewer system to heat the seafront leisure centre, reduce the town’s overall carbon footprint and – potentially – bring in funds to council.

The plans were supported by Cllr Jonathan Dow, the council’s lead member for place services. He said: “With the council’s focus on sustainability and carbon neutrality by 2030, it is imperative EBC seeks every opportunity to support this aim by delivering the most efficient buildings as possible. 

“This kind of opportunity not only supports our green initiatives but our commercial ones too as it is expected we will generate more energy than we consume and can sell back the surplus.

“I would rather we view this as an investment as opposed to a cost, especially considering the carbon neutrality move within the council. This is Eastbourne leading by example in my opinion.”

While at an early stage, the design of the energy centre is expected to redirect heat from the town’s sewage pipe to the Sovereign Centre, reducing its heating costs and carbon footprint.

If it proves viable, the council believes the energy centre could be developed to provide energy for other types of development and even see the authority get cash back.