Disappearing cables improve landscape in Northumberland village

Howick with underground cables replacing overhead power lines.
Howick with underground cables replacing overhead power lines.

Northern Powergrid has invested £100,000 to improve the landscape in Howick on the north Northumberland coast.

The electricity distributor has undergrounded more than a kilometre of overhead power lines, enhancing the view for residents and tourists, while improving the reliability of the electricity supply to the area.

A view of Howick before the cables were undergrounded.

A view of Howick before the cables were undergrounded.

The scheme is part of Northern Powergrid’s commitment to underground, where possible, parts of its network in protected landscapes and National Parks.

The company, which supplies 3.9million homes and businesses, is set to deliver a £15million investment as part of its current eight-year business plan which will see the undergrounding of some 100km of overhead power lines in the four National Parks and five designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in its operating area.

Steve McDonald, head of programme delivery at Northern Powergrid, said: “We were approached by Northumberland Coast AONB and asked to look at the feasibility of undergrounding power lines in Howick.

“Following agreement with local landowners, discussions with both Northumberland Coast AONB and the local authority, and site surveys being carried out, we were able to start work last September to underground the power lines.

A view of Howick after the cables were undergrounded.

A view of Howick after the cables were undergrounded.

“The work, which was recently completed, has significantly enhanced the local landscape and brought a new, modern underground cable network to improve the reliability of electricity supply for the local community.”

Coun John Woodman, chairman of the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership, said: “The undergrounding of the power cables at Howick is a fantastic demonstration of Northern Powergrid’s commitment to conserve and enhance designated landscapes.

“The removal of overhead power cables has instantly helped to enhance the beautiful historic character of Howick village and we are delighted with the end result.”