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Your opinions count in survey on Hydro Hub and Net Zero

Marketing Cheshire 30/06/2021

CHASE has plans to turn a redundant building into Hydro Hub

Cheshire Heritage and Sustainability Enterprises, or “CHASE” for short, has announced ideas to turn a redundant building on the River Dee in Chester into Hydro Hub; a focal point for residents, schools and visitors to learn about what a low carbon world will look like in and around Cheshire and how all aspects of our lives will change. This community led project is seeking your opinion on what matters most for the site by the Old Dee Bridge. 

CHASE is already working alongside Cheshire Historic Buildings Preservation Trust to develop designs and plans for operation as an education centre for schools, residents, visitors and potential new business sponsors. The Hydro Hub is a project that has already received funding from Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Climate Emergency Fund. The fund provides money to projects that can reduce carbon emissions and contribute to the borough's ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2045.

Chair of CHASE CIC, Chester based Dr Niall Macfadyen said; “Our vision for the Hydro Hub centre is a place generating electricity from water power where visitors will experience live, virtual reality and hands on demonstrations of many of the new technologies that we will use in our everyday lives as Cheshire and the country moves towards its net zero goal. We need support to turn the Dee Bridge Hydro Building from its unused state to a thriving visitor attraction which generates its own electricity.”

“We would really appreciate your and any of your friends and colleagues’ opinions on the Hydro Hub, so a short survey has been put together to better understand your views. At this stage this is not a full formal consultation process, that will be needed later. We need as many views as possible and we’d love to hear from you.”

The survey is now closed.

He added; “The Hydro Hub site used to produce Hydro Electricity from 1914, almost half of Chester’s electricity needs and continued to operate until 1949. In 1952 the building became a water pumping station until 2015 but it is no longer used.  Owner Cheshire West and Chester Council has been very supportive of our vision to transform the building into the Hydro Hub education centre.”

Plans for the Hydro Hub will be prepared during 2021 following the survey findings after which funds will be raised so that the building can be redeveloped and the visitor and education centre will open.

Cheshire West and Chester Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said; “I look forward to seeing the proposals from CHASE and the CHBPT, following a public consultation, on how we can bring the old Hydro Electric power station building back into use for the benefit of the public, to tell the stories of how the Weir shaped the history of Chester and its people and how clean energy will also shape our future.”

Councillor Matt Bryan, cabinet member for climate emergency for Cheshire West and Chester Council said; “This is a fantastic community initiative bringing a disused public building back to life with cutting edge technology at the heart of it. This will go a long way in highlighting the technologies we will need to be implementing to reach our carbon neutrality target of 2030 for Cheshire West and Chester and 2045 for the Borough.”