The swimming pool branded “sick and eerie gets backing from the leader of the House Of Commons Sir George Young.
A senior Government minister has backed a controversial scheme to heat a public swimming pool with energy from a nearby crematorium.

Commons Leader Sir George Young praised the “groundbreaking scheme” and said he would “die a happier man” if he knew heat from his cremation was warming the waters of a local pool.

The scheme links the crematorium in Redditch, Worcestershire, with the Abbey Stadium Leisure Centre.

Tory MP for Redditch Karen Lumley said it was an “innovative scheme which could save £14,500 a year to the taxpayer by heat not being put out into the atmosphere”.

During questions on future Commons business, Sir George said: “I will die a happier man if the heat generated by my cremation could increase the temperature of any nearby swimming pool.”

He added: “The Government is aware of this particular scheme, the Department of (Energy and) Climate Change will shortly be publishing its heat strategy and this will explore the potential for better recovery and reuse of wasted heat in schemes such as this one.”

When the plans were announced the Unison trade union described the Conservative-run council’s cost-saving proposals as “insulting and insensitive”.




(Report of the Head of Operations)

1. Summary of Proposals

The report will advise Members of the requirement for a major

infrastructure upgrade to the existing crematorium plant and

buildings including the preferred method of installing a new cremator

and mercury filtration equipment to ensure the Council meets

Government targets for mercury emissions and the longer term

viability of Bereavement Services.

2. Recommendations

The Committee is asked to RESOLVE that,

subject to the necessary budgetary approvals of the full

Council, as detailed at recommendations 6) and 7) below,

1) a programme of replacement of and installation of one

new cremator, complete with mercury abatement

equipment, at a current cost in the region of £575,000, be

carried out;

2) a programme of civil works be undertaken to improve the

public and staff areas of the crematorium buildings, at a

cost of £380,000;

3) a defined study be carried out in relation to energy

recovery and re-use for both internal and external


4) specialist and technical support be employed to assist

the Bereavement Services Manager with the management

and implementation of this project, at a cost of £32,500;

5) expenditure of up to the total sum approved by the

Council, for the purposes defined in the report, be

approved in accordance with Standing Order 41;

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Agenda Item 9



16th September 2009

and to RECOMMEND that

6) the Council, if it is established that it is economically

viable to recover waste energy and to re-use it for

internal and external purposes, implement the

recommended programmes for such re-use. Initial

research indicates that internal re-use will be

economically viable so a sum of £70,000 has been

included in the Capital Programme for this aspect of the


7) up to £757,500 be allocated from the Capital Programme

for the purposes indicated in the report; and

8) the Capital Programme be amended accordingly.

3. Financial, Legal, Policy, Risk and Sustainability Implications

3.1 £50 from each cremation fee has been set aside for the purpose of

funding the replacement of the cremators, based on 1,200

cremations per annum this equates to £60,000 per annum. The fund

currently stands at £180,000, although by the intended date of

installation this will stand in the region of £300,000 depending on the

number of cremations that have been carried out.

3.2 There will be a further capital funding requirement of £275,000 at

current prices and this excludes the predicted 10 per cent annual

industry related inflation for the replacement cremator, mercury

abatement equipment. This has been caused primarily by the

deterioration in the exchange rate and fluctuating raw material costs,

as a substantial proportion of both components and finished goods

are imported and are dependent on world commodity markets. A

further £380,000 at current prices, is required for the planned

improvements to the public areas of the building.

3.3 Additionally a further cost should be considered under ‘Spend to

Save’ for installing the mercury abatement equipment with an energy

recovery system and a redistribution capability.. The most obvious

use of some of the energy recovered would be to heat the

crematorium building, which would allow the current electrical

heating system to be replaced – reducing the cost of heating the

building by 75 to 80%.

3.4 The capital cost of this work is estimated to be between £50,000 and

£70,000. It currently costs approximately £15,000 per year to heat

the Crematorium so the payback period is estimated at 4 years and

8 months, after which, apart from maintenance costs heating will

effectively be a fraction of the current cost.

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16th September 2009

3.5 There may be additional opportunities to export and re-use some or

all of the remaining ‘waste’ energy, either for other council buildings

ie; Abbey Stadium or to export it back to the grid and create

additional revenue. However, further research is required to

establish the viability of any such project. (A more detailed

explanation is provided under the heading Sustainability /

Environmental – Paragraphs 3.16 to 3.25 below)

Total cost Existing built up

funds by time of


Additional capital

finance required







£125,000 to



£350,000 to





+10 per


In the region of






for heating



£ 50,000 to

£70,000. ?


Consultancy £ £32,500 £32,500


to public


£380,000 £380,000

Total £1,057,500 – £300,000 (£50 from each cremation that has been put a side)= £757,500

3.6 The