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Car park set to generate its own energy through solar panels

The entrance to Newarke Srteet car park

THE roof of Leicester’s Newarke Street car park is to be fitted with around 360 sqm of solar panels on two giant canopies, as part of the city council’s ongoing work to reduce its carbon footprint.

Work will begin on Monday 20 March to fit the panels, which will provide renewable energy to power the machines, lights, cameras and other facilities at the car park, as well as other local buildings.

The amount of energy produced by the panels would be enough to power 30 homes for a year, and will help to make carbon savings equivalent to around 19 tons.

The scheme is expected to cost £267,400, and has been funded jointly by city council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This follows the council’s successful bid for more than £4million of match-funding from the ERDF to support a range of projects that aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Leicester deputy city mayor for transport, clean air and climate emergency, Cllr Adam Clarke said: “This is part of our citywide response to the climate emergency, and the latest stage in our programme of investment in low carbon, energy efficient improvements to council buildings.

“Retro-fitting these buildings with solar panels and other measures to make them more energy efficient will make them cheaper to run and dramatically cut our carbon emissions.”

The top two floors of the car park – levels 10 and 11 – will be closed throughout the work, which runs until May 9 . Levels 8 and 9 will also close temporarily for one week in March and one week in April for cable installation and other related work to take place safely.

The council will use electronic signs at the side of main roads leading to the car park to advise drivers if the car park looks like reaching capacity levels while the work is carried out.

Full details of all parking in Leicester are available on the council's website 

Leicester’s park and ride service provides an excellent alternative to driving into Leicester, with sites located in Enderby, Meynell’s Gorse and Birstall. A return ticket for one person costs just £3, and up to five people in one car can travel for just £4 return for the whole group.

More information and timetables can be found here 

Timetables and a journey planner for bus services serving Leicester can be found on the Leicester Bus Partnership website.