Winchester businesses welcome £1.3m network boost

A Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ (SSEN) project to boost the resilience of the electricity infrastructure for homes and businesses in and around Winchester City Centre has now been completed.

The £1.3 million programme of works was designed to strengthen the area’s power supplies and was part of SSEN’s ongoing commitment to ensure that customers get the best service possible. This recently completed project was the second phase following SSEN’s upgrade to Winchester city centre in 2017. 

Commencing in October 2017, the works saw the installation of over 1.9km of new underground cable, 13 link boxes and the transfer of 81 existing services to the new section of infrastructure; all carried out in stages along a route taking in Jewry Street, the High Street and other adjacent roads. 

Because of the time of year that the work commenced, SSEN worked closely with local businesses and Hampshire County Council to avoid any disruption to religious events and busy trading times over the festive period and, as a result, it was agreed that the works would be put on hold from November 2017 to January 2018.

This was just one of the alterations that was made to the original working plan, as SSEN took steps to ensure the minimum of disruption was caused to residents, businesses and visitors to the historic city.

Liz, the manager of local business, Greens Bar & Kitchen said: “Initially, we did have concerns about how these works would affect ourselves and other local businesses near to the areas that Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) were proposing to work on, especially around busy times during weekends and the festive season.

“Being able to speak to the project team and build an understanding of their needs to carry out the upgrade works, along with our needs as a business – and our customers’ expectations - meant that we were able to work together to accommodate both schedules with minimum disruption to our customers and staff.”

Kevin Cracknell, SSEN’s Network Upgrades Manager, added: “It was important to both SSEN and Hampshire County Council that these works were carried out sensitively to accommodate the varying needs of our customers in Winchester.

“In addition to letter drops and engagement events, we listened to the concerns of local businesses and – wherever possible - carried out excavation works near their premises either during the night or outside of their usual operating times. While some of these measures led to minor delays in the completion of the project, it was vital that we all worked together to ensure the smooth-running of a busy city and built a supply that would be fit for purpose for many years to come.

“This programme of works in and around Winchester now ensures we provide the best possible service to current customers and have future-proofed the electricity network to meet the demands of this thriving city as it continues to grow and develop, and is part of SSEN’s commitment to taking a “you said, we did” approach to investing in its vital infrastructure.”

As a responsible company, SSEN works in an efficient, reliable and sustainable way which is enhanced through technologies, and helps it match the pace of its customers’ lives while minimising disruption and inconvenience.