Seaside town swaps streetlights to save £32m

The coastal town of Bournemouth is popular among holidaymakers after a nostalgic taste of seaside charm. But its streetlights will soon be strictly modern – as the Dorset tourist town […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The coastal town of Bournemouth is popular among holidaymakers after a nostalgic taste of seaside charm.

But its streetlights will soon be strictly modern – as the Dorset tourist town has begun a £7 million upgrade to make all of them more energy efficient.

The town council hopes to slash its carbon footprint and bag itself £32 million in efficiency savings over 20 years. Currently the council spends £1.1m a year on street lighting energy.

Over the next few months all of its 16,500 street lights will be replaced, including 15,000 lanterns, 1,100 columns & lanterns and 500 illuminated bollards with low energy Light Emitting Diodes (LED).

Slightly taller lampposts spaced further out along residential streets will be put in because new modern lanterns can control light “much better” than existing ones, according to the council. It said this will mean “less street clutter”.

Pier Theatre Bournemouth pier 350 197

Councillor Michael Filer said: “This is a huge programme of improvement works which will benefit the whole town. Our lighting network is ageing and in need of modernising.

“The work will take some months to complete but once installed the new lights will lead to a 73% energy saving in current street lighting consumption which equates to large environmental and financial savings.”

New LED fittings will emit a “crisper and white light” that’s brighter than existing yellow bulbs, according to the council. SSE Contracting, the building arm of Scottish energy supplier, will carry out the work.

Funding for the project comes partly from the Government’s energy projects funding provider, Salix (£4.26m) with the other £3.5m coming from the council.