By Helen Tandy, Founding Director, Eco Communities
This fantastic building on the River Dee is a Hydro Electric Power Station. I have lived in Chester now for nearly 30 years and always wondered why it had been left to go to ruin. I even pre invested in a project to renovate it around 5 years ago that wasn’t viable in the end.
I am working with Jane from CHASE* in connection with the Green Expo 2022, a 3 day event of stalls near the Chester Hydro Power Station. But the Green Expo is much more with a Business Conference, Awards Dinner and Youth Conference.
I learnt so much more about the hub from Jane’s conversations while we were promoting the Green Expo at the Vegan Fair on Saturday. Did you know the Hydro Hub used to generate almost half of Chesters power as clean carbon free electricity, from 1914 to 1949. We had it so right in Chester all those years ago and then we stopped, such a shame.
I have since researched to find it’s a Grade II listed building, converted into a waterpumping utilty after its 40 years power generation before ceasing operation in 2015. The University of Chester’s plan to reinstate it was found not to be feasible, it was felt the turbines would attract the Dee’s migrant salmon. Not a great end for the salmon.
So after all these years it was great to hear about CHASEs plans for the Hydro Hub to redevelop the building as a visitor and education centre. CHASE is 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 hub. The focal point for residents, schools and visitors to learn about what a low carbon world will look like and how all aspects of our lives will change as new technologies remove emissions from our industry, commerce, agriculture, homes, transport and food.
A hugely exciting project and fitting that CHASE put forward the idea of an annual Green Expo alongside the River Dee to support its project.
So Green Expo is a trade show and sustainability fair. An opportunity for local businesses and charities to showcase their sustainability plans, products and services. The general public will have opportunities to buy products while learning about technologies and career opportunities. The Eco Communities and CHASE team will be very very busy, we are all volunteers and so if your interested in helping over the 3 days do let us know. But whatever come along, support the event and share it with everyone you know.
*Cheshire Heritage and Sustainability Enterprises CIC, or “CHASE”, are a Community Interest Company like Eco Communities.