UK National Grid: Experiences Dismantling Gas Holders and Managing Industrial Heritage
Matthew Pearce, Head of Real Estate Management, National Grid
Co-Author: Frank Evans, Head of Operations UK Commercial Property, National Grid
National Grid in the UK has recently dismantled our 100th gasholder as part of a current programme to dismantle over 200 gas holders, linked to our wider goal of regenerating MGP sites across the country. The company owns the oldest standing gasholder in the world, dated 1831, and several others structures are recognised as having industrial heritage value of global significance. It is intended to present a client’s perspectives on lessons learned from the current programme using case studies, including: innovation of use of drones to visually capture information to enhance asset management and improve the quality of legacy records, ways of making our work safer including new ideas for removal contaminated basal sludges that minimise use of man-entry; share the challenges of keeping sites secure and preventing adventurous thrill seekers who seek to climb the structures; and share current challenges and experiences with community engagement and managing environmental impacts of works, and other constraints. We will provide insight into our procurement approaches and efforts to drive efficiencies. Furthermore, the dismantling programme is proactively recording industrial heritage in various ways including with local education and museums, capturing stories from past MGP workers, creating artwork that recognises the legacy of sites, and in some case considering schemes which seek to retain the historic framework structures as part of the future development schemes.
Matthew Pearce is Head of Real Estate Management at National Grid in the UK, and has over sixteen years of experience of working with former MGP sites. He has worked in environmental consultancy specialising in investigation and remediation of complex contaminated sites, and has worked on projects in the UK, Middle East and North Africa. In his current role he leads a team that manages, sales, lettings, environmental clean-ups, gasholder demolitions, and industrial heritage strategy, at over 200 former gasworks.