AN action plan to help make Northumberland carbon free by 2030 was set for approval this week.

Northumberland County Council was due to meet on Wednesday to ratify its Climate Action Plan for 2020-2021 and approve an additional £3.3m within the authority’s Medium Term Financial Plan to achieve its goals.

The council declared a climate change emergency in June and set out its aims of zero emissions for the county by 2030, well ahead of the Government target of 2050.

To achieve this target, money was to be put aside for a solar farm at the council’s HQ in Morpeth, climate change schemes in Hexham schools and the creation of a hydroelectric scheme in the River Tyne at Hexham to power the town’s Wentworth Leisure Centre.

In addition, there were plans for solar panels to be installed on seven buildings across the county, including Prudhoe Waterworld.

In a report to the council, Rick O’Farrell, the authority’s interim executive director of regeneration, commercial and economy, said: “Clean growth is about decarbonising the county whilst improving the local economy.

“There are economic opportunities for Northumberland as the need for renewable, clean energy generation and use can attract clean economic growth, potentially lowering our residents’, communities’ and businesses’ energy costs.”