Major boost to green transport in Harrogate and Wetherby

Harrogate and Wetherby are to receive millions of pounds of investment in a bid to accelerate green growth and job creation, it has been announced.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 10:12 am
£1.5m has been awarded to accelerate upgrades to support increased use of electric buses, like this one already in service in the town. PHOTO: Gerard Binks.

The cash injection is part of a national Green Recovery Scheme that saw up to £300m made available for investment in electricity networks across the country, to fast-track future developments that could the UK achieve net zero carbon emissions.

Following a region-wide call led by Northern Powergrid – the electricity network operator for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire – the operator reviewed evidence from local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, local businesses and developers to create a final shortlist of 14 projects for submission as part of the national scheme.

Now, the electricity regulator Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have approved all the shortlisted projects for investment – leading to a £53m cash injection for the region to unlock the North’s electric future.

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Investment of £1.5m each for Harrogate and York has been awarded to accelerate town and city upgrades that may support more electric bus use, EV charging or other future net-zero needs.

In addition, £11.5m – £5m for Wetherby and £6.5m for Scotch Corner junction – has been pledged to unlock large-scale solar generation potential and enable future rapid EV charging infrastructure and development.

This funding has been sourced from network operators’ existing allowances thanks to cost savings in the current price control period.

Patrick Erwin, Policy and Markets Director at Northern Powergrid, said: “This is targeted investment in the region’s energy networks, which will kick-start projects and increase prosperity across the North.”

He added: “Confirmation of this £53m investment across all 14 projects we proposed is a great boost for the region and could not have happened without the informed input of all those who had their say in where these upgrades are needed most. This collaborative effort will positively impact the region and improve its prospects.”

In addition to the 14 projects in the Northern Powergrid area, investment has been awarded across the country for projects involving electric flight, shipping, heating and transport.