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27/09/2012: Underwater cable replacement begins at Lake District beauty spot

The final phase of a project to secure the supply of mains electricity to a picturesque village in the Lake District began yesterday (Wednesday 26 September).19-tonne reel of specially-made cable arrives onsite to secure supply of mains electricity

The 11 properties in the remote valley of Wasdale Head have been supplied with electricity from generators since December after a fault occurred on a power cable that runs through Wastwater.

The final phase will see 1.6km of replacement cable laid under Wastwater – the view from the lake towards Wasdale Head was voted Britain’s Favourite View by a major ITV television series in 2007.

The lake is also the deepest in England, at 79 metres, but the cable will sit out-of-sight on a contour around 30 metres deep.

Jane Fleetwood, response manager for Electricity North West, said: “It’s an extremely complicated engineering challenge to restore mains power to such a remote and unique location and we’re confident we have a solution that will last.

“We restored power the same day as the fault by providing generators, and it’s taken a lot of planning and background work with local residents and businesses, as well as the council, National Trust and Natural England to reach this stage of the project.

“As with previous phases, we will do everything we can to minimise disruption, keep residents updated and complete the work as safely and quickly as possible.”

Georgina Wrathall, manager at the Wasdale Head Inn said: “We’re elated that the final phase of the work is now under way. Business is booming at the moment and we have a busy October ahead. Disruption is being kept to a minimum so we’re fully open throughout all the work, as are the rest of the businesses in the valley.

“It will be great for guests who have visited while we were on the generators to be able to return and enjoy the real tranquility that Wasdale Head is renowned for.”

Wasdale Head was first connected to the mains electricity network 35 years ago in 1977 by a cable that ran under the lake. The initial plan to restore mains power by laying a cable under the road that runs alongside Wastwater was found to be not technically possible due to the ground conditions.

The single-track road leading to Wasdale Head had to be closed between 10am–2pm to allow for the 19-tonne custom-built underwater cable to be delivered to site.

For more information on the project, go to www.enwl.co.uk/wasdale.

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