BUSINESSES, developers and councils in York and North Yorkshire have three weeks left to say where they want investment to be spent to update the electricity supply to stimulate the post Covid-19 economic recovery and support the growth of green jobs.

Through the scheme, Northern Powergrid is looking to invest around an additional £50 million in network capacity over the next two years in areas including York city centre close to Clifford's Tower, Harrogate town centre, Wetherby and Sowerby near Thirsk. However, only three weeks remain for local government, businesses and developers to state the case as to why extra capacity should be selected for investment near them.

Patrick Erwin, Policy and Markets Director at Northern Powergrid, said: “At a time where life is difficult for many, with unemployment increasing to 5.1 per cent and our young people are feeling the economic impact, it is absolutely vital that we bring forward jobs in the area as quickly as we can.

"At the same time, we are proactively responding to the climate emergency and the industries like ours that are at the heart of that response must do what we can to speed up action. Our investment in the local power network is an important step on the road to economic growth and we want to invest in the places that will deliver the most benefit. We need people to come forward to tell us what plans they have – from an EV charging hub to a zero carbon homes development – so we can funnel our near-term investment to the place it can do the most good for our communities.” 

Northern Powergrid, the local distribution network operator, launched a ‘call for evidence’ last month to encourage any parties who have well developed plans that would benefit from increased network investment to come forward. The appeal is now halfway through and just three weeks remain for evidence to be submitted before a shortlist is produced. The deadline is 5pm on March 19.

This investment would be ‘ahead of need’ and is designed to support green growth projects to come to fruition faster. The additional capacity could be used to bring forward electric vehicle charging, promote a switch to electric heating or simply increase the amount of power available to local businesses to allow for environmentally sensitive growth. Unlocking additional capacity will provide the foundations required to accelerate a green economic recovery and enable a substantial growth of green jobs in the region.

Mr Erwin said: “We’ve already been speaking with local councils as part of this investment activity. We encourage anyone with information about relevant activity in the 38 locations – or elsewhere – to come forward in the closing weeks of the call to evidence.

"This is a rare opportunity to secure sizable local investment that directly supports local people and communities with green economic growth. Infrastructure is crucial to many exciting and ambitious schemes that we have in Yorkshire.”

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