Almost £1m is set to be spent installing solar panels on a council's flagship leisure centre to reduce the facility's electricity use by a third.

Norwich City Council wants to fix the devices to Riverside Leisure Centre as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions.

City Hall has secured a £520,000 grant for the scheme and will contribute an additional £375,000 from borrowed funds. 

The centre has been run by Places Leisure Limited on behalf of the council since 2013. The firm secured a six-year extension of its contract in October. 

The facility was said to have "bounced back strongly" after it was forced to close during the Covid lockdowns, with membership numbers now surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

READ MORE: New £100,000 tourist centre set to open this summer

Norwich Evening News: The investment is expected to save money in the long-termThe investment is expected to save money in the long-term (Image: Steve Adams)A report by the council anticipates that the new solar panels will reduce electricity usage at the venue by 33pc, with £53,000 of savings on utility costs per year. 

Riverside Leisure Centre, in Wherry Road, is home to a swimming pool, gym, steam room, sauna and spa. 

The installation of solar panels is one of four carbon reduction projects in the pipeline at City Hall, which has been facing "huge financial pressures".