The John Peel Theatre in Wigton, run entirely by a committee of volunteers, have, over the last few years, embarked on a major project to reduce their carbon emissions and energy costs to help make the theatre more sustainable.
In 2018, with a £12,000 grant from M&S, they installed solar PV panels, and have since purchased six energy storage battery units to hold their generated power for use when needed.
Inside the building, they’ve increased the insulation in the attic, fitted new external doors that reduce heat leakage, and installed automatic self- closing doors between the stage and the backstage area further reducing heat loss. Their old immersion heater has been replaced with instant response on-line water heaters, and they are aiming to replace the oil filled radiators with programmable, energy efficient models. New automatic shut off taps have been fitted, and the electric hand driers have been replaced with paper towels, with plans in place to introduce washable single use hand towels.
With a £550 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund through Cumbria Action for Sustainability and Zero Carbon Cumbria, they have been able to upgrade all house lights in the theatre from normal high wattage lighting to LEDs.
They have cut their use of plastic by moving from disposable to ceramic cups, and phasing out bottled water for tap water in a carafe. Glass use has been reduced by offering wine by the glass rather than from small individual bottles. Last but not least, they make a real effort to sort all their waste and use recycling bins for paper, plastic and glass.