More than 36 kilometres of gas mains – some of which were installed more than 100 years ago – are set to be replaced in East Lancashire in Cadent’s 2024/25 £80 million improvements programme.

Cadent, which manages the gas network in the North West, will modernise around 420km of its North West pipeline over the next 12 months.

This includes 7,290 metres in Blackburn with Darwen, while the area which will see the most work is the Ribble Valley with more than 10km to be replaced.

The £80m investment will be delivered by 600 gas engineers who will be upgrading vital pipes to plastic to ensure a long-term safe network, as well as remaining on track to replace fossil gas with greener alternatives, such as biomethane and hydrogen.

Lancashire Telegraph: Cadent's programme will take place across the North WestCadent's programme will take place across the North West (Image: Cadent)

This change is essential to achieve local plans for meeting energy demands in ways that better protect the planet.

The work is part of a bigger 30-year engineering programme, which is happening across the UK and is due to finish in 2032.

The East Lancashire areas facing work are:

  • Blackburn with Darwen – 7,290m
  • Ribble Valley – 10.132m
  • Burnley – 6,804m
  • Rossendale – 5,408m
  • Pendle – 4,538m
  • Hyndburn – 2,414m

Cadent’s head of investment planning office (North West), Mark Syers, said: “More than 80 per cent of homes in the North West rely on gas for central heating, and it’s our job to make sure they get it safely and reliably, every minute of every day of the year.

“As our older stock reaches the end of its safe working life, we must replace it.

"We’re also excited by the arrival soon of hydrogen to our networks, which is going to be essential to the North West achieving its targets to reduce carbon emissions.

“In most cases we’re able to insert the new pipe into the old one, a technique that reduces the time of each project and means we don’t have to dig up as much/.

“It also means an end to what often becomes increasingly frequent visits to repair faults on the older metallic mains, as they start to show signs of age.

"We know it’s not ideal, but my team is determined to move as quickly as they safely can and get the work done with as little disruption as possible.”

Once start dates have been confirmed, letters are sent to properties impacted ahead of the work starting.