Electricity North West turn dilapidated Burnley substation into community garden

Julie Cooper MP, centre, with ENW employees, members from Burnley Council, and Gannow Community Centre
Julie Cooper MP, centre, with ENW employees, members from Burnley Council, and Gannow Community Centre

Julie Cooper MP has visited a revamped electricity substation in Burnley which has been transformed into a community garden as part of Electricity North West's Transforming our Spaces programme.

A critical part of the power network, substations across Lancashire have suffered from vandalism, a lack of wildlife, and a lack of general aesthetic value, but as part of ENW's new initiative, the company have identified areas of land around substations, cleared the sites, and planted wild flowers, bug hotels, and planters as well as laying wood chippings on the ground.

The new community area.

The new community area.

A substation on Adamson Street in Burnley is the latest to receive a welcome makeover, with Burnley MP Julie Cooper at the renovated site to meet members of the ENW team along with Charlie Briggs, Gannow Burnley and Padiham ward councillor; Police Community Support Officers residents; and members of Gannow Community Centre who assisted with the project.

“Everybody is delighted with the outcome and results from our substation project in Burnley and it was a pleasure to welcome Julie Cooper MP along with residents and volunteers from the community centre," said Angie Thornton, delivery manager at Electricity North West, who is heading up the Transforming our Spaces project. “This is a real transformation.

"We learnt of the project through Alan Barnes, who works at Gannow Community Centre," Angie added. "He made contact with us and asked us if we could provide any assistance. When we cleared the site, we found all sorts of objects including rubbish, tyres, and dog waste. What was a blight on the area, is now a vibrant community garden that residents and the community centre can be proud of.

“Substations aren’t always aesthetically pleasing but they are a key part of the electricity network," Angie continued. "The project has been extremely well received and I know people are extremely keen to get involved.”

(From left) Electricity North West's Mark Donnelly, Ryan Wilson, Jonathan Phillips, and Danny Furesz

(From left) Electricity North West's Mark Donnelly, Ryan Wilson, Jonathan Phillips, and Danny Furesz

Gannow Community Centre have been handed the keys and volunteers will use the space as a community garden and will also engage with children and all those within the community on how to plant and cultivate vegetables. It will also be a space for the community centre to undertake community projects outdoors.

Burnley MP Julie Cooper said: “The project to create a community garden alongside Gannow Community Centre is a brilliant example of what can be achieved when different organisations come together. By bringing this area into use it will not only provide a well-loved asset for the residents of Gannow but also stop the site being used for fly tipping rubbish.

“I enjoyed spending time meeting with Electricity North West and Burnley, Pendle, and Rossendale Voluntary Service charity who have made this garden a reality and congratulate them on this work," she added.