A proposed scheme to heat the swimming pool at Abbey Stadium in Worcestershire with energy from nearby Redditch Crematorium has been backed by a senior Government minister.
Critics had attacked the plan to use waste heat from Redditch Crematorium to help warm the water at the pool in the town's Abbey Stadium leisure centre.
But Sir George Young, the leader of the Commons, said he would “die a happier man” if he knew heat from his cremation was warming the waters of a local pool.
He was asked for his thoughts on the scheme by Karen Lumley (Con), the MP for Redditch.
Speaking in the House of Commons, she said: “I attended the opening of a new swimming pool and leisure centre in Redditch that is partly heated by the local crematorium – an innovative scheme that is saving the taxpayer £14,500 a year by not putting heat out into the atmosphere.
“Will the Leader of the House congratulate Redditch Borough Council on this innovative scheme and find time for a debate when we can discuss how other groundbreaking schemes can be used across the country?
Sir George told her: “I will die a happier man if the heat generated by my cremation can increase the temperature of any nearby swimming pool.
“The Government is aware of the scheme. The Department of Energy and Climate Change will shortly publish its heat strategy, which will explore the potential for better recovery and reuse of wasted heat, using such schemes.
“I pay tribute to the groundbreaking scheme in her constituency.”
The unusual heating system was drawn up by Redditch Borough Council – and saved taxpayers £100,000 by avoiding the need to buy new heating equipment for the pool.
But trade union Unison campaigned against the project, calling it “an insult to local residents”.
According to the council, the scheme will allow it to save a massive £466,000 over the next 25 years. It will also reduce the council’s entire carbon footprint by four per cent per year.
A similar process in Sweden is used to warm people’s homes.