West Berkshire Council

Carbon reduction project at The Downs Schools completed ahead of schedule

Earlier this year, The Downs School in Compton was awarded Government funding of £232,000 to be spent on decarbonisation projects to help the school be greener.

The Downs School carbon reduction project

Issued on: 15 April 2021.

The funding for the project was secured through Salix Finance Ltd who provide Government funding to the public sector to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and lower energy bills. Salix is a non-departmental public body owned wholly by the Government and funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

As an 'Outstanding' OFSTED rated school, The Downs School is passionate about reducing carbon emissions and building a sustainable future for all. The funding meant the school could install 31 new aluminium windows across various buildings in the school, LED lighting to 80% of the school buildings, and solar panels to two buildings.

Chris Prosser, Executive Head teacher at The Downs School, said:

"This project really aligns with the heart of The Downs School values, focusing especially on courage and responsibility.

"It took real courage for our school team to take on this project given the short timescales for completion but we knew we had a responsibility to reduce our carbon emissions as a school and play our part in helping to protect the environment.

"We are truly delighted with the installations and would like to thank Salix and all of the companies we worked closely with for making this happen."

Cllr Dominic Boeck, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education at West Berkshire Council, said:

"It is a great achievement for The Downs School to complete this project in such a tight timescale, especially as the carbon reduction work coincided with the return of pupils to school after the COVID lockdown.

"The planning and building control team from the Council worked hard with the school to make sure the necessary legal permissions were granted within the project's timescales.

"Any green solutions, no matter how big or small, are in keeping with the objectives of the Council's Environment Strategy. I look forward to seeing the outcome of other projects where we work together with schools and partners as we head to our target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030."