Northern Gas Networks, the gas distributor for the North, is investing £750K to safely dismantle and remove its two gas holders at Cannon Park, Middlesbrough.
For around 100 years, gas holders were a vital part of the local gas supply system, responsible for storing manufactured coal gas which was supplied to thousands of people across the region.
In more recent years, they were used to bolster the network’s gas supplies at peak times, during colder weather.
However, advances in technology and the enhanced capability of the modern-day gas network, means that gas holders are no longer in use.
NGN is aiming to safely dismantle 23 of its holders by March 2021, as part of its continued investment in modernising the network.
The gas holders at Cannon Park haven’t stored gas for over 10 years, so are now being carefully taken down over the next few months by specialist teams, in a project expected to finish in March 2020.
Once the work is complete, the site will then house a new state-of-the-art operational depot for approximately 100 NGN engineers and support staff serving the Tees region.
Holder Seven (nearest the A66) was built in 1937, while Holder Six was built in 1926, and survived a World War Two air assault in May 1942, when a bomb crashed through its roof and out through its side, shortly before exploding.
Both are made of riveted steel construction, with Holder Six built by Furness Shipbuilding Company and Holder Seven by Clayton & Company.
The gas holders have become local landmarks in Middlesbrough over the decades, so NGN is working with local schools and artists to commemorate the giant structures and capture their history for future generations.
Around 100 local Year Five school children will visit the site as part of their STEM subject study, while a local artist and historian has been commissioned to paint the holders in a joint project linked to Oberhausen, the German town twinned with Middlesbrough.
Mark Johnson, Senior Project Manager from NGN’s Capital Projects team said: “The decision has been made to dismantle the two gas holders at Cannon Park as they are no longer in use and costly to maintain. We’ll be working with a specialist contractor to carry out the work in a safe and environmentally responsible way.
“We know how important these structures can be to communities and we are working closely with local residents and stakeholders to give them the opportunity to commemorate these structures as they disappear from the skyline through STEM visits for school children, and the painting being created.”
NGN is committed to taking down its gas holders in an environmentally responsible way, by recycling as many materials as possible.
The project at Cannon Park will also be registered as Considerate Constructors Scheme site, following key principles to ensue minimal impact on the environment, customers and community, observing the highest standards of safety.
You can email your memories of the Cannon Park gas holders to email@example.com or send via our social media channels Facebook/northerngasnetworks and @NGNgas
Anyone that smells gas or suspects carbon monoxide should call the National Gas Emergency