A council has revealed more about how it intends to spend £19 million to help reduce its carbon footprint.

As reported in January, Dorset Council was awarded a huge amount of grant funding by the government to help to tackle the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

It is the largest sum allocated to a local authority to implement such measures.

The money will be used to update and upgrade council properties, switching away from fossil fuels and improving energy efficiency. It will target four areas:

* All properties supplied by oil or LPG, suitable for heat pump heating solutions

* Leisure centres eligible for advanced heat-pump technology for pools and air handling

* A selected number of larger gas-supplied properties where heat pumps or hybrid heat pump solutions are suitable. These will include some larger offices and Tricuro sites

* Installation or upgrade of Building Energy Management System equipment across most of the estate, enabling improved or continued energy efficiency savings.

The programme of work is a major step in the council’s ambition to become 'zero carbon' by 2040.

Dorset Council will now develop a works programme for its properties in the coming months. This will include surveys for lighting, fabric, roof structure and solar, as well as systems design for heat pumps, solar panels, LED lighting, building energy management systems and fabric improvements.

The grant will also cover costs for contractors, consultants and work to deliver a programme of low carbon projects on selected Dorset Council properties.

The programme will lead to significant carbon and revenue savings for Dorset Council, estimated to be in the region of 3-3,500 tonnes of carbon per year (approx 10% DC footprint) with revenue savings from reduced energy use in the region of £400k per year.

There are also wider economic and social value benefits through strengthening low carbon supply chains and the potential for growth in low carbon sector jobs within Dorset and beyond.

All works under this grant must be completed and commissioned by September 2021.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “I’m thrilled that we have been awarded this grant funding for such vital work. The £19 million is a huge help in realising our carbon-neutral ambitions.

"We were also delighted to discover that Dorset Council has received the largest share of this round of grant awards by a substantial margin. By investing considerable time and effort to get our approach right, we have put ourselves in the best position to successfully bid for this kind of central government funding both now and in the future.

"Dorset Council has a leadership role in making sure our beautiful county becomes carbon neutral. This grant will not only fund a range of low carbon technologies within public sector buildings, but hopefully inspire Dorset residents and businesses to see what we’re doing and join us in tackling the threat of climate and ecological change.”