Museum and homes to harness power of the sun in Low Carbon Barrow scheme

A KEY public building in Barrow is to lower its carbon footprint thanks to the installation of solar panels for alternative energy production.

Planning permission was granted to add photovoltaic panels to the roof of The Dock Museum last week as part of the ambitious Low Carbon Barrow scheme.

Now, residents in a number of homes owned by Barrow Borough Council in the Yew Tree and Roosegate areas are also set to benefit from the addition of solar power.

The installation of PV panels is expected to take place between February and March.

The schemes are designed to help the borough achieve carbon neutral status by its target date of 2037 and to help the planet move towards climate repair.

Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council, said the work to the Museum was a significant step towards a lower carbon future for the borough.

“This is very exciting news - that one of our key attractions in the borough will lower its carbon usage with a move towards solar energy.

“The Dock Museum is loved by so many people across Barrow and beyond. It will be superb for people to be able to see low carbon technology in action at the museum - and hopefully, to consider whether they could make the switch to renewable energy themselves in the future.

“Being able to install solar panels on a number of residential properties is also hugely positive. We need to consider how we can incorporate changes to the way we all live day to day that will have less of an impact on the planet - and this is a very good way of achieving that.”

Low Carbon Barrow is a scheme launched by Barrow Borough Council in 2021 thanks to funding secured from the European Regional Development Fund and Cumbria LEP.

It includes a series of innovative projects which aim to reduce carbon emissions across the area while supporting its economic growth.

In addition to installing photovoltaic panels to The Dock Museum and some public housing, the scheme will also see the installation of LED lighting at The Forum in the coming weeks. This will help to save carbonthrough the lighting of the stage, public and conference areas of the building.

A series of Low Carbon Business Grants have also been launched - with firms and organisations in the borough invited to apply for funding to make changes that will help them to decarbonise their activities and operations.

And preparation work is underway in council-owned car parks across the borough ahead of the installation of 18 electric vehicle charging points. This will make the switch to electric vehicles easier for all those who live, work and visit the area.

Councillor Ann Thomson added: “What we are seeing here really is change in action. These are all schemes that will help to lower our carbon footprint as a community.

“We can’t do this alone however. We need everyone to play their part. Every action, however small, contributes towards a bigger impact on the health of our planet overall - something that is critical to all of us.”