£1m for Dee pumping station hydro-electricity project

The Dee pumping station The university hopes the project will help it reduce its carbon footprint

The University of Chester has been given £1m of government cash to restore a pumping station at Chester Weir.

The Grade II-listed Dee pumping station, next to the Old Dee Bridge, supplied the city with electricity for almost 40 years from 1913.

It is due to be decommissioned in April 2015 and the university wants to return the pumping station to its role as a hydro-electricity generating station.

The university hopes the project will help it reduce its carbon footprint.

Medieval mills

Alice Elliott, sustainability manager at the university, said she hoped the scheme would "have a positive impact on river conservation and tap into an abundant local source of renewable energy".

The university and Cheshire West and Chester Council are working with environmental organisations to begin an environmental impact assessment which will look at effects on noise, vibration and bio-diversity.

A full consultation will then begin in the autumn.

The grant is from the Higher Education Funding Council for England's Revolving Green Fund, awarded to higher education institutions to fund teaching and help them reduce carbon emissions.

Chester Weir was originally built to power the medieval mills of Chester.

When the mills were demolished during the 20th Century the weir served the city's hydro-electric station, built on the same site.

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