A total of 3,200 trees are being planted along the route of work carried out by Northern Powergrid to replace 132km of electricity cables, thanks to partnership work with Bradford Council.
Northern Powergrid started work in September 2019 on a £30 million project to improve the reliability and resilience of Bradford’s electricity network. This involved replacing five major circuits which supply electricity to two thirds of the district’s homes and businesses. It will ensure that the network will meet existing and future demands, such as a growing population and the switchover to electric vehicles.
Phase 1 – replacing two major circuits between Bradford West substation in Wilsden and Girlington substation on Duncombe Road – is due to be completed at the end of December 2020. It has involved digging in the road to lay new electricity cables along Back Lane and Old Allen Road (Thornton), Allerton Road, Cote Lane, Allerton Lane, Weymouth Avenue, Millennium Green and Bell Dean Road (Allerton and Lower Grange), Thornton Road (Crossley Hall) and Cemetery Road (Four Lane Ends).
Northern Powergrid is keen to give something back to the communities it works in , with a focus on carbon offsetting, education and support for vulnerable customers.
Councillor Richard Dunbar, a ward councillor for Thornton and Allerton, where a lot of the improvement work has been carried out, suggested the company did something in support of Bradford Council’s climate action agenda, such as planting trees.
In response to this, Northern Powergrid is offsetting the carbon generated by the first phase of its investment programme by committing £32,000 to fund the planting of 3,200 trees in and around the areas it has been working. It has also funded the training of six primary school teachers through its partnership with the Teach First initiative and given safety talks for Key Stage One and Two children at local primary schools.
Cllr Richard Dunbar said: “I am delighted that we have been able to work with Northern Powergrid to fund these trees, which will be planted by our Trees and Woodlands team over the coming months, and thank them for their valuable contribution.
“Climate Action is a major priority for Bradford Council and filters into every aspect of our work. As well as greener energy and transport initiatives, tree planting plays an important role in absorbing carbon emissions. We also acknowledge that working with businesses and other organisations is the only way to realise our net zero carbon target.
Sharon Incerti, Northern Powergrid’s Project Manager for the Bradford scheme said: “This essential work we’ve been carrying out in Bradford will ultimately help keep the lights and power local people's lives now and in the future, however, we know it can be disruptive for the community.
“As we come towards the end of Phase 1 of this scheme, we’re keen to say a huge thank you to all of the local residents and businesses in the areas we’ve been working in over the past year for their enormous patience and support. We couldn't have completed our work on schedule without the community’s ongoing co-operation, so we’re thrilled to be able to give something back through supporting Bradford Council’s tree planting programme, as well as funding the training of six primary school teachers and providing safety education for local school children.
“We're particularly pleased that some of the trees we’ve funded will be planted near to where our work in Allerton was carried out. We'll also be returning in early 2021 to carry out additional landscaping works where required.”
This is just one of several pieces of tree planting work being carried out by Bradford Council and its partners over National Tree Planting Week (28 November – 6 December 2020). More tree planting events have been scheduled and details will be published separately.