UK Power Networks takes centre stage for Theatreland engagement

Power Project

Keeping the community informed about a £15m electricity project beneath Leicester Square in London has won the dedicated project team a best-in-class national award.

The 23rd Energy Institute (EI) Awards ceremony took place in London, celebrating a diverse range of talent from across the energy sector. UK Power Networks won the Public Engagement Award. The £15m upgrade of the company’s underground Leicester Square substation will ensure reliable power supplies for the area and extra capacity for the future.

More than 250,000 people visit Leicester Square daily and the company worked with the Heart of London Business Alliance (HOLBA), the Society of London Theatre, and Westminster City Council to help ensure business and tourism could continue to thrive during the work.

Innovative ways of working saw UK Power Networks use a ‘megalift’ self-loading trailer for the first time to reduce each new transformer’s delivery time by four weeks and work closely with local business and community groups to offer them unprecedented insights into the project’s progress.

The site had interactive hoardings, selfie spots, online video updates, and hosted underground tours for about 150 visitors. A youth training scheme was also run by the project team to help lift 16-19-year-olds and their families out of fuel poverty towards the national levelling up agenda.

Jason Gunning, Project Manager at UK Power Networks, says, “The entire team are enormously proud and honoured to have our inspirational work recognised by the Energy Institute judging panel. From the outset, we decided to dedicate a lot of time and effort to engaging with the community and stakeholders of Leicester Square, recognising that it would be key to the success of the project.

Juliet Davenport OBE, President of the Energy Institute, adds, “Among the energy sector’s workforce, the EI Awards celebrates those – such as UK Power Network’s influential Leicester Square project – who are doing incredible things to push this sector forward and out of these turbulent times.

“The global energy transition will need to be centred around people, and in particular – highly skilled people, who will need the support of training and professional development to keep up with the pace we need to work at.”

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