Freshly re-opened Shipley Pool has been praised for its new green credentials, especially the enormous array of energy-making solar panels on its roof.

Ward councillors for Shipley, Kevin Warnes and Martin Love, saw the rows of photo-voltaic cells for themselves when they were invited to the popular pool, which has benefited from £878,000 of energy efficiency improvements.

“Energy consumption at the pool used to be a shocking drain on resources and now it’s a power station that’s generating income for our community,” Coun Warnes said yesterday.

“It’s a tremendous success and the PV cells were even installed by Bradford Council’s own workers as part of the total package to make the building as energy-efficient as possible.”

He said the building’s carbon footprint had been slashed by some 60 per cent and the investment would be paid for in savings within a few years.

Councillor Love said he was astounded by the sight of so many panels.

“I was expecting a few, but I was amazed by so many almost covering the roof,” said Coun Love (Green, Shipley).

The Alexandra road swimming pool closed in September for the four-month renovation, which involved the installation of solar panels, insulation, double glazing, energy-efficient LED lighting, new heating and ventilation systems. The measures are expected to reduce the building's energy demand by up to 25 per cent.

Coun Warnes said Shipley Pool could be used as a model for similar improvements across the district.

“Bradford Council has a huge estate of similar properties and there is no reason why this technology could not be used to drive down energy bills and send a out a huge sign that Bradford is serious about saving energy.

“There is a very, very good business case for the projects and the Council really should be at the forefront and rolling them out across the district,” said Coun Warnes (Green, Shipley).

Councillor Andrew Thornton, Bradford Council’s executive member for environment, sport and sustainability, said: “This major invest-to-save project will result in substantial savings in running costs making the leisure facility sustainable into the future and much more environmentally friendly.”