SOLAR panels are to be installed on the roof of Dudley’s new leisure centre - achieving an annual reduction in carbon emissions of around 23 tonnes.

The total cost to install the panels at the new £18 million site on Constitution Hill is estimated to be around £132,000, which will be funded by borrowing.

But council bosses say it will save the authority £5,000 in the first year on electricity costs – and more than £266,000 over a 25 year period.

The plans will be discussed at the next meeting of the cabinet, which takes place on Thursday June 24

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: "As far as I am concerned this is a real no-brainer, and a move I will be really happy to back and ask my cabinet to follow.

"It will save the council an enormous amount of money – more than double the initial investment – in the first 25 years alone, and of course it will continue to deliver savings beyond that time.

"As a council we are also very conscious of our responsibilities to the environment, and the significant reduction in carbon emissions this will bring is also very much to be welcomed.

"The work on the new leisure centre is coming along very nicely, and next year as promised borough residents will have a state-of-the-art new site to enjoy."

The new £18.2 million facility will include a 25 metre, eight-lane swimming pool and a teaching pool with spectator provision. There will be a four-court sports hall suitable for indoor football, badminton and more.

The investment will also include a 100-station gym and fitness suite, two group exercise studios for a wide range of exercise classes and an immersive cycle studio.