Award Winning LED Lighting Programme for Heritage Buildings


Energy efficiency measures at Newstead Abbey are reducing electricity costs by £3,500 a year.

Newstead Abbey is the latest heritage site operated by Nottingham City Council to have an LED lighting overhaul to make the lighting system more environmentally friendly and cheaper to run. It follows a pioneering and award-winning project at Wollaton Hall which was one of the first heritage sites in the country to make the switch.

Nottingham City Council’s Energy Services is looking for ways to significantly reduce the energy demand arising from council operations. With over 70 separate areas, numerous bespoke lighting requirements and over 500 light bulbs, lighting makes up a huge part of the Abbey’s energy bill. Although far cheaper to run and better for the environment, heritage site managers have not found it easy to make the change due to the need to preserve the traditional character of heritage sites.

Energy Services have been keeping a close eye on innovations within sustainable energy technologies so they can source cost effective and fit for purpose solutions for the wide variety of venues that the council owns and operates. The lighting scheme in the Abbey uses the very latest technology available for LED lights which ensures the building retains its heritage atmosphere whilst saving money on electricity bills and reducing their carbon emissions.

Energy Service
Energy Service installing LED lights at the Abbey

The LED lights use 88% less energy than the previous newstead energylights but they also bring other benefits to the Abbey. The Abbey has many objects that are fragile such as letters written by Byron and manuscripts and portraits of his family and friends the switch to LED lighting will give these artefacts a greater level of protection from the extremes of light, heat and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This will safeguard the Abbey’s unique artefacts for generations to come.

The new lighting also brings a significant reduction in staff time to maintain it, much of the lighting is in hard to access places and scaffolding is needed to replace light bulbs. The LED bulbs have a much longer life span and this reduction in maintenance time will greatly benefit the Abbey staff team.

Further cost savings were achieved as the LED installation work was carried out in-house by the council’s mechanical and electrical team. This team has developed in response to the large number of energy related projects that the council is undertaking this creates opportunities for a local workforce to develop skills in installing sustainable energy technologies.

The new lighting at the Abbey has really enhanced the visitor experience, lighting up dark hallways and shining a light on the many unique artefacts and exhibitions there, revealing more of the history of the hall.

Councillor Sally Longford | Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment

Councillor Sally Longford, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment, said: “Once again Nottingham City Council has proved that looking after the environment and saving money can be achieved together. These works at Newstead Abbey are part of a programme of work to ensure that the City Council has a sustainable approach to energy consumption, generating green energy where we can and using the latest technology to reduce our energy demand.

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Operations Manager at Newstead Abbey Mo Allahi, said: “At Newstead Abbey, we are really conscious of the environmental impact that running a large building can have. We were really pleased to work with the council’s Energy Services to find a solution that was right for our unique building that could be delivered within a tight budget and ultimately would save money and lower carbon emissions. As well as achieving this LED lights have a much longer life span and with over 500 upgraded light bulbs this improvement has saved many man hours.”

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