Theatre Royal, Discovery Museum, and 16 schools set for green upgrades in £27m bid

The Theatre Royal Credit: PA

A £27 million bid to make some public buildings and schools in Newcastle more environmentally friendly is being launched by the council.

If approved, places like the Theatre Royal could be fitted with low-carbon heating systems, better insulation and solar panels as part of plans to cut emissions.

Newcastle City Council's cabinet is set to sign off on plans to put forward a bid to the government's £1 billion Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, as the authority pushes ahead with efforts to make Newcastle carbon neutral by 2030.


buildings could be upgraded

4,050 tonnes

of carbon dioxide would be removed from the atmosphere each year

It is hoped that the varied works could be completed as early as this September, though a council report admits that high demand could mean its application may not be successful in this first round of funding bids.

The council said it could not yet specify exactly what works are planned at the 32 different locations.

Bosses did say that the Discovery Museum could be linked up to the carbon-cutting district energy centre on the nearby Helix science park.

The Discovery Museum

Cllr Clare Penny-Evans, the local authority's cabinet member for communities and climate change, said: "If we are successful in our bid for up to £27.25m then it will be a significant step to ensuring some of our schools, leisure centres, cultural venues, depots, offices and industrial premises have a more sustainable future.

"From solar panels to "smart" building management systems; heat pumps; new LED lights; energy storage; electrical upgrades and low carbon heating systems; more efficient windows; better wall, roof and pipework insulation; and connecting the Discovery Museum to the heating network powered by the District Energy Centre at Helix, this is a really exciting opportunity to improve major public buildings.

Removing up to 4,050 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year - equivalent to taking 2,828 cars off the road - will really help towards our ongoing target of being net zero by 2030.

Cllr Clare Penny-Evans

"It could help support and safeguard more than 800 jobs; and potentially save £386,000 a year on running costs, which would obviously be welcome at a time when our budget faces continued challenges.

"If Cabinet agree to progress this and we are successful in securing all or part of the funding, then I look forward to hopefully having these improvements in place very quickly, as a big step forward in our climate ambitions."

The full list of Newcastle buildings included in the £27.5m bid is:

  • District Energy Connections

  • The Core

  • Blandford House/Discovery Museum

  • Council offices and depots:

  • YHN House and Warehouse

  • Allendale Road Site

  • Palatine Products Building


  • Fenham Library

  • City Library

  • Industrial Estates:

  • Newburn Haugh

  • Bells Close


  • Gosforth Pool

  • East End Pool

  • All Saints Sports Centre

  • Walker Activity Dome

  • Newcastle Trampoline Park


  • Theatre Royal 

  • The Pattern Shop


  • Canning St

  • Walkergate

  • West Jesmond Primary

  • Stocksfield

  • Thomas Bewick

  • Kenton

  • Walbottlle

  • Gosforth Junior High

  • Sir Charles Parsons

  • Walker Riverside Academy

  • St Mary's Catholic School

  • Byker

  • Benton

  • Cragside

  • Milecastle

  • St John's