ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners are celebrating a successful campaign to get Otley Library fitted with solar panels.

Ninety two panels have been fixed to the southerly-facing roof of the Nelson Street building through a scheme led by Otley Energy, part of the Otley 2030 project.

The initiative, which has resulted in a 30kWp solar panel system to provide the library with a source of renewable energy, was also supported by Otley Town Council and Leeds City Council.

The library was refurbished in early 2019 when a new toilet and carpets were fitted and the heating system repaired - but the city council were criticised at the time for missing a chance to install solar panels.

Chair of Otley Town Council’s Environment Committee, Councillor Ray Georgeson (Lib Dem, Danefield), said he was delighted to have seen that now happen.

He said: “I am absolutely thrilled to see the solar array sitting proud on the roof of Otley library and I congratulate Otley 2030, Leeds City Council and partners on making sure this happened.

“I’m particularly pleased as this project was first mooted when the town council commissioned its feasibility study into community renewable energy for Otley three years ago.

“It’s so good to see bright ideas coming to fruition. Long may it continue - we need much more of this in the coming decade of climate action.”

As part of the same project Otley All Saints C of E Primary School had solar panels installed back in March in an initiative that was also funded by Solar for Schools.

Otley Energy and Otley 2030 are aiming for more of the town’s buildings to benefit from renewable energy in the near future and are fundraising to support that goal.

Town Councillor Mick Bradley (Green, Danefield), who is also an Otley 2030 committee member, said: “We now have an impressive number of panels which will generate substantial electricity for our community library.

“It’s great to see it finally happening and I look forward to more buildings in the town centre following this lead.”

Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) added: “I would like to thank Otley 2030 for all the work they have put into this.

“It has taken a long time to persuade Leeds that this is a good idea but now it is a reality I hope it will be an example for other property owners in the town and will help us to a goal of producing all our local power requirements.”

A climate emergency was declared by Leeds City Council in 2019 and the authority is also committed to making the Leeds area carbon neutral by 2030.