New Heritage Counts Report Reveals Hydroelectric Plant Renewal Plan

By Tara Booth | 30 October 2008
A black and white image of a brick building with two men standing beside it.

An archive picture of the hydroelectric plant, soon after it opened in 1909. © English Heritage

An historic hydroelectric plant in the Yorkshire Dales is set to spark into life once again and supply power to the National Grid.

The pioneering project at Linton Falls, Grassington, will see the crumbling 100-year-old red bricked power house refurbished and put back to work generating green energy using new turbines.

The regeneration project is highlighted today in Heritage Counts 2008, an annual survey by English Heritage that details the state of England’s historic environment and principle changes.

This year, a focus of the report is on climate change and how the historic environment sector is playing a vital role in tackling the issue and helping society to pursue a low carbon economy.

The plant will generate about 510,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, saving around 216 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions compared with fossil fuel power generation.

An iamge of an old brick building beside a river.

The hydroelectric plant as it is today. © English Heritage

“We are extremely enthusiastic about this scheme,” said Maddy Jago, Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Historic Environment Forum. “Not only will it help secure the future of an important historic building, but it will also contribute to reducing the nation’s reliance on fossil fuel generation – a source of greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Climate change is a major challenge for everyone and that includes the heritage sector. We need to re-learn the old wisdom of self-sufficiency and sustainability, which includes imaginatively re-using our historic buildings and finding local solutions to global problems.”

The Linton site is a scheduled monument. It was built in 1909 and is considered to be an important relic from the early development of electricity supply when oil lamps slowly gave way to light bulbs in rural areas.

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