Nuneaton leisure outlet halves energy costs
"The County Council has been brilliant and that reflects the support we have had in Warwickshire in the last few years."
A Nuneaton leisure outlet is on target to halve its energy costs after becoming the first recipient of a Green Recovery Grant from Warwickshire County Council.
Disco Bowl Nuneaton was awarded £45,020 towards the installation of new carbon efficient replacement pinsetter machines in its 24 bowling lanes. The rapid delivery of the grant means the work was complete by the end of March, leaving the business, which employs 25 full-time staff, better equipped for both the short and long term.
Disco Bowl director Pete Terry says the grant is another element of the “brilliant” support that the business has received from local authorities in Warwickshire as they bounce back from more than a year shut due to Covid.
“We are genuinely very appreciative of the County Council’s support,” Pete said. “With energy costs going up 220% we had to think about how we maintain Nuneaton Bowl to make sure we can carry on.
“The pinsetter machines, which reset the pins for customers as they play, were traditionally mechanical with five motors on each machine. They were fascinating to watch but ludicrously inefficient and old-fashioned. The new way is with the pins on high-tension strings and we have installed this at our Banbury and Nottingham sites and seen a 50% saving in electricity costs.
“Nuneaton Disco Bowl has 24 lanes so, with a cost of £14,000 per lane plus VAT, that’s in investment of circa £400,000. So to have roughly ten per cent of that funded by the council makes a huge difference. All the major operators in the bowling industry are moving this way and now we can keep pace with them which is great because we have put a lot of investment into the Nuneaton centre and are very proud of it.”
Nuneaton Disco Bowl, which did not have to close during the work as some lanes always remained open, is now well-placed for the future thanks to the backing of a scheme devised by the County Council to deliver support tailored to where businesses most need it.
Green Recovery Grants are there to help businesses make efficiencies on revenue costs to support and accelerate their recovery from the impact of Covid lockdowns. As part of the programme, Nuneaton Disco Bowl first accessed a free energy audit which identified key areas of the business that could be changed to improve annual carbon usage. This free energy audit is managed and delivered by Coventry City Council as part of the Coventry & Warwickshire Green Business Programme (funded by the European Development Fund).
“The County Council has been brilliant and that reflects the support we have had in Warwickshire in the last few years,” said Pete. “We have found different local authorities around the Midlands have different approaches but Warwickshire has been great and Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council were brilliant with us. We love being in Nuneaton and we love being in Warwickshire.”
Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place, Cllr Martin Watson said: “I am delighted that the Green Recovery Grant has enabled Nuneaton Disco Bowl to carry out such important work with huge economic as well as environmental gains. The scheme is part of the Council’s commitment both to green business and to helping our businesses bounce back from the challenges of Covid and rising costs.”