SSEN upgrades section of Dorset and Hampshire network ahead of winter

Residents and business owners between Bournemouth and Ringwood are set to benefit from an investment of over £123,000 by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), to boost the resilience of the local network while carefully working to consider and accommodate the local environment. 

The programme of works between the Redhill area of Bournemouth and Ringwood is scheduled for full completion by autumn 2021 and will centre around the replacement of 35 poles and supporting infrastructure. The upgrade works will ensure that the network supplying these communities remains resilient and secure now and for years to come.  

While the first – and main – phase of the works to boost supplies to local homes and businesses is already under way and will be carried out during the remainder of 2020 with completion ahead of winter, four Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) mean that some work will need to be programmed for 2021.  Two of the sites SSEN is working to protect during this project are recognised, not only nationally but also internationally, for habitats - such as heathland - as well as the bird species they support, including the nightjar which migrates to the UK every year from Africa to breed. 

SSEN’s Project Manager for the works, Tom Wicks, said: “Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks is a considerate constructor and has carefully addressed the needs of customers alongside care for the local environment. Three of the four SSSI sites in the vicinity of our project have European designations attached to them; of which two of these are heathland, which Dorset is noted for, in particular around Wareham and Purbeck. 

“SSEN will undertake consultations with the appropriate government agencies, the local planning authority and other interested parties to ensure the ecological interest of these SSSIs are preserved as part of these works.” 

Tom added: “Our investment in this section of network will ensure a power supply that suits the needs of residents now and in to the future, helping these local communities achieve their net-zero ambitions; so as more of our customers turn to using electric vehicles, they have a supply and infrastructure that’s fit for purpose.” 

SSEN is aware that customers may have concerns relating to power cuts as we head into the winter months and to assist with this SSEN has extended its Priority Services Register (PSR) to those who are categorised at ‘high risk’ and ‘extremely high risk’ of severe illness from coronavirus; meaning they are now eligible to sign up for additional support through the free, tailored service.  

Customers are also eligible for SSEN's Priority Services Register if they:  

  • Are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Have a disability
  • Live with children under five
  • Are blind or partially sighted
  • Have a chronic illness
  • Use medical equipment/aids reliant on electricity
  • Are over 60
  • Would benefit from PSR services for any other reason, even if temporarily

To find out more, please go to the Priority Services Register page on our website:, where SSEN’s multi-language PSR leaflets can also be accessed and downloaded.