MP backs report on poor power supply

No Caption Dr Caroline Johnson speaking at the Greater Lincolnshire LEP Utiilties Summit in the summer. EMN-171113-162045001
No Caption Dr Caroline Johnson speaking at the Greater Lincolnshire LEP Utiilties Summit in the summer. EMN-171113-162045001

Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Dr Caroline Johnson is championing a drive to upgrade power and other utility supplies to growing industrial parks in the district.

The MP fears local business growth is being held back due to the lack of investment and last week hosted a meeting in Westminster to discuss a new study produced by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The meeting was attended by the chairmen of the LEP, Lincolnshire MPs and a representative from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The report, titled ‘Future Proofing Utilities in Greater Lincolnshire’, was commissioned following a meeting with Dr Johnson in January, to look at the challenges faced by firms wishing to develop in the county, but hampered by limited electricity, water and gas supplies.

There has been local consultation and Dr Johnson spoke at a Utility Summit in North Hykeham, in July.

The report concludes insufficient utility infrastructure is already hindering development, detailing 25 sites needing investment, including Teal Park at North Hykeham, Sleaford Enterprise Park and the Sleaford West urban expansion currently planned.

A further meeting next year will discuss regulatory barriers to investment, the need for greater infrastructure for those wishing to feed gas and electricity generated from their own renewable sources into the grid, and potential sources of funding.

Dr Johnson was glad the report backed up complaints she has received, adding: “Demand for electricity is only set to increase in all areas of the constituency, especially with the development of electrical vehicles.

“The report provides a valuable framework from which we can push forward.”