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It is usually the swimmers who break records - but now there is a swimming pool that could break a record.
A local authority pool in Shropshire could be a record breaker when refurbishment work starting this month (September) is completed. Bridgenorth Council is closing its pool at Highley for the winter to refurbish the pool and install a solar heating system which is thought to be the largest of its kind in the world.

The 25m x 10m outdoor pool was due to be refurbished and the Council was keen to use renewable energy. “Solar heating seemed to be the answer but we were concerned that the panels would get damaged if they were on the ground,” explains the Council’s Project Manager Mike Baker.

To overcome the problem solar heating specialists Riomay Heating designed a huge pergola on which the solar panels would sit. The idea was the brainchild of Riomay Managing Director, Tony Book. “I designed a small version of the solar pagoda for a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show a couple of years ago and it was a big success. Since then we have installed several in Europe but nothing on the scale of the Bridgenorth project,” says Tony.

Once erected, the solar pergola will provide enough heat the keep the pool warm from Easter to September and, as Mike Baker explains, the system is providing several other benefits for local people: “We knew the pergola would provide a really useful covered area underneath and that it would be a very attractive feature. The pool is next to the bowling green and the pergola will also create some much needed shelter for the bowlers.”

When it reopens next Spring Mike is hoping that the pool will get into the Guinness Book of Records for having the largest solar pergola system in the world.

For further information please contact Chris Lee at Talk Up Limited on 01424 204024 or email

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