A MULTI-million pound investment in Winchester’s electricity infrastructure is to start after being temporarily delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The £2 million programme of works by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) will start on January 4, 2021 and will see the completion of a series of upgrades carried out in Winchester, to ensure a reliable and secure network for the city’s 11,000 customers for years to come.

This brings SSEN’s investment to over £3.3m over a two year period to accommodate the changing demands of this thriving and developing city.

The final part of the project will run for eight months to enable the upgrade of 2.5 kilometres of underground cable; new sections of modern, robust cable will replace the existing cable which is reaching the end of its working life, allowing for future commercial and residential connections. The investment will future-proof critical infrastructure and support Hampshire’s decarbonisation ambitions.

While still working to strict Government guidelines on social distancing and the use of enhanced Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), SSEN will start these improvement works on Silchester Place, moving through the city via Southgate Street and Lansdowne Avenue towards Lower Stanmore Road. These working guidelines include implementing a one person one van policy and thorough safety checks in advance of any work.

There are no Planned Service Interruptions (PSI) for the duration of these works.

Richard Boles is SSEN’s project manager for the Winchester city centre upgrade, who said: “As we reach the final programme of works for Winchester, I’d like to thank our customers in advance for the patience and understanding they have already shown SSEN and our project teams as we have worked to upgrade the power supplies to their beautiful city.

“This latest, substantial investment will ensure that local homes and businesses will have a robust power supply to serve those who live and work here for many years to come.”

Richard added: “While we will do all we can to minimise any possible noise or disruption for those near to the works, I also want to reassure our customers that our engineers are adhering to strict Government guidelines on social distancing, so we can ensure the safety of our colleagues and our customers.

“In the current climate, we are unable to hold a public engagement event to enable residents and business owners to come along, meet the SSEN project team and discuss the works, but we still want our customers to know that we will be available to address any questions raised. With this in mind, we have carried out letter drops to all nearby homes and businesses containing details of the project and various ways of contacting the team, and have set up a project page to enable our customers to see the latest information on the project and to be able to contact us directly online.”