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National Grid plc

09/13/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/13/2017 10:06

Landmark gas holders to be demolished in Wigan

13 Sep 2017

• Two unused gas holders off Darlington Street to be dismantled as part of a national programme

• Water and sludge to be removed from empty holders before the main structures are dismantled

• Work expected to be complete by spring next year

National Grid is starting work to dismantle two unused gas holders in Wigan town centre- part of plans to clear the site for future use.

The site on Darlington Street will be cleared as part of National Grid's on-going nationwide gas holder dismantling programme. Gas holders are no longer required due to investments made to improve the national network, meaning gas can be stored in the pipe system or underground. Historically the site formed part of the much larger Wigan Gasworks where coal gas was first produced in 1823. Coal gas production was in operation at the site until the 1970s when the majority of the gasworks buildings and infrastructure were decommissioned. The gasholders date from the 1930's and remained in operation for the storage and distribution of natural gas until 2011/2012.

Initially work will start to remove one gas holder with work to the second gas holder following soon after. The work to each gas holder will be carried out in a number of phases and finished one after another.

Specialist contractors appointed by National Grid will first remove and treat any water from the gas holders, before removing the sludge and any other debris from the base.

Removing the sludge can produce an unpleasant smell, similar to diesel. This smell is not harmful to people who live in the surrounding community or the environment and National Grid will do everything they can to make sure it does not become an issue. National Grid's gas safety guidance remains unchanged by the work. If people do think they can smell gas they should contact the freephone gas emergency number 0800 111 999. All reports will be investigated by appropriate gas engineers to establish if they are related to the gas holder dismantling work or are genuine gas escapes.

The site will remain securely fenced at all times with full CCTV coverage. The work will be strictly controlled to minimise any potential disturbance for people who live and work close by.

Work is expected to be finished by spring next year.

Kat Scargill, Land Regeneration Manager for National Grid, said: 'We will remove the gas holders as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible to minimise the impact on local people and the environment.

'We have written to people who live and work in the local community to explain what we will be doing. If anyone has any questions about the project they can contact our community relations team on 0800 819 9071.'