Willington Pow

A Nottinghamshire power station which employs 158 people will be shut down and bosses say “it is up to the local community” what happens to it next.

EDF Energy made the announcement about Cottam Power Station on Thursday.

The move comes following a drive to decarbonise electricity generation, and after the government laid out its plans to phase out coal .

Three of the UK’s remaining eight plants are in Nottinghamshire.

However, bosses at the plant say that they are already working with the Trade Union partners and employee representatives to transition workers into new jobs.

Cottam Plant Manager Andy Powell, said: “During 2017 we supported 19 people to move into alternative roles within EDF Energy, and an additional 22 will be transferring into alternative roles over the coming months.”

There are also worries about what will happen to the building itself after the closure. Other plants lie abandoned years after they cease generation, such as Willington power station in Derbyshire.

Willington Power Station

John McNamara of EDF energy said the plant will definitely be taken down, and suggested the remaining land may be turned into greenfields.

He said “Safe to say that when power plants are decommissioned, they are completely decommissioned. There is no sign of a power plant.

“It is up to the local community what they do with it.”

For this local community, however, the Cottam plant has been an integral part of their daily lives.

“one of the key benefits of that power station over the years is that when electricity has been in peak demand that station has been able to provide it”

Simon Greaves, Bassetlaw council leader

Simon Greaves the council leader for Bassetlaw District Council, where Cottam Power Station is located, said: “Unfortunately we’ve known for some time there is a risk of Cottam closing simply down to the way the governments approach to energy generation has been shifting for some time.

“People may not know it but one of the key benefits of that power station over the years is that when electricity has been in peak demand that station has been able to provide it and keep up with demand.”

Despite this he remains hopeful that there will be a usage for the plant in the years to come.

Councillor Greaves added: “I feel there has got to be a positive future for this very large site, energy generation has come to end but there is still an industrial use for that site and we need to work with government to ensure there is appositive future.”

We asked some Nottinghamshire locals what they think about the closure.

Jordan Saunders, of Lenton, said: “It is a positive for the environment but it will affect people’s jobs and the local economy, which could be seen as a downside.”

Michael Ward, of Arboretum, added: “Those who work at the power station will obviously lose their job, having an affect on their families plus it’s unlikely they will be able to get a role in a similar job as power stations are now far and few between.”
Millie Wilson from Nottingham city centre, said: “The closure is good for the environment, especially as Nottingham is aiming for lower emissions, but people losing their jobs is never good.”
Cottam Power Station will cease all operations in September, 2019.