A community centre struggling to pay its spiralling energy bills has been rescued from closure thanks to a grant of more than £75,000.

Calon Tysul Community Centre in Llandysul had appealed for help after its electricity and oil costs tripled.

Now the centre, which includes a swimming pool and fitness centre, has had solar PV panels and storage batteries installed.

The system will dramatically reduce the running cost of the centre and help to bring those bills down.

Around 70 per cent of the cost of the work has been covered by a grant from the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO).

The project - AMMV Energy Worx (Aberfan, Mount Pleasant and Merthyr Vale), is a small-scale renewable energy project set up specifically to help communities reduce their utility costs and keep their buildings open. The grant, now in its final year, was administered by H-Factor Development, and has supported over 40 buildings.

Llandysul pool
Solar panels on the roof of the leisure centre (Calon Tysul)

Calon Tysul is managed by a board of community members who work together to ensure the centre continues to thrive.

Trustee Iestyn ap Dafydd said: “When the oil prices and electric prices shot up, we genuinely thought we might have to close our doors. Our electricity was increasing from just under £2,000 to more than £4,000 a month, and our diesel from about £800 a week to £2,400.”

“We sourced some funding to get us over the hump of the high prices, and part of the conditions behind that was that we put energy saving methods into place, like the solar panels. Without this project, I think we would have closed - there wouldn’t be a pool there now.

“Now we have this phase completed, it’s going to make a massive difference. We will be producing our own electricity and using most of it ourselves will offset our bills. This will then allow us to look for other ways to fulfil our energy needs.”

Calon Tysul manager Matt Adams said: “The centre is such an important asset to the whole community – its name literally means ‘the Heart of Llandysul’ in Welsh. This funding ensures its survival for future community use. We are most grateful for the support.”

H-Factor AMMV Energy Worx is one of eight projects selected to offer community buildings an option to generate, store, use and sell community energy in Wales.

It aims to reduce reliance on energy generated from fossil fuels and help actively manage the transition to a zero-carbon economy.

Llandysul pool
Ellie Simmonds visited the pool last week which featured on the One Show (Calon Tysul)

H-Factor Development Director Lynne Colston said: “Our grant is further proof of the solution-focused work we as a social enterprise are able to provide to help communities survive and grow. Community led renewable energy projects generate an income.”

Calon Tysul’s story was featured on BBC One’s topical magazine programme The One Show on Thursday 13 April.