After a major clean up National Grid’s former gasworks site at Gipsy Lane in Swindon is now ready for a new lease of life which should benefit the town.
The work by National Grid Property and its contractor Hydrock which started in August 2015 has now been completed.
To prepare the land for redevelopment any materials left behind from when gas was made and stored at the site, have been treated or removed. Over the course of the work 11,500m3 of soil was treated. The treated soil has been reused at the site which reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill and the number of vehicles coming to and from the site.
Samantha Rendell, Land Regeneration Manager for National Grid Property said, “We’d like to thank our neighbours for their patience during our work.
“Our work has finished on schedule and we’re really pleased to see the Gipsy Lane site ready for an exciting future and development opportunities.”
She added: “The gas industry and this site played an important part in Swindon’s past – we‘re now keen to see the Gipsy Lane site play a part in Swindon’s future.”
Steeped in history the gasworks have been a part of the landscape in Gipsy Lane since the 1860s. ‘Town gas’ made from coal was manufactured there by the New Swindon Gas Company and then supplied to the local area.
Gas manufacture at the site stopped in 1968, due to the discovery of natural gas in the North Sea. However gas continued to be stored at Gipsy Lane. Changes in technology mean gas holders are now no longer used and the historic gas holder structures have since been removed. The first was taken down in the 1970s with the other holders being removed by local gas emergency and pipeline service Wales & West Utilities in 2012.
Parts of the site are owned by Wales & West Utilities who are working with National Grid to bring large sections of these areas forward for redevelopment in the coming years. However they will retain an operational base and equipment to ensure the local area continues to receive a safe and reliable supply of gas.
The site is expected to be used for commercial development and the next steps will see National Grid looking for suitable development partners over the next year or so. A planning application for redevelopment is then likely to follow.
Anyone wanting more information can contact the National Grid Community Relations team on 0800 073 1047. The line is open from 7am -7pm Monday to Friday and 7am-1pm on Saturday.