SGN Natural Gas have met with business representatives and local traders in Cookstown to outline plans for development works starting in the area this month as part of the £250m Gas to the West project.
A business information session facilitated by Mid Ulster District Council,took place in the Glenavon House Hotel ahead of the commencement of major works scheduled to get underway on 17thJuly 2017.
David Butler, Head of Engineering with SGN Natural Gas, reassured local traders that any disruption would be kept to a minimum during the construction of the new gas network in the Cookstown area.
Business and civic leaders also welcomed a commitment by SGN Natural Gas that no construction work would take place in the main trading centres and on arterial routesduring the Christmas period, traditionally the busiest time of the year for local retailers.
Mr Butler said: “We are delighted to be progressing with the development works scheduled to begin in the Cookstown area on 17th July 2017 and, we are fully committed to completing these works with minimum disruption. We will continue to consult and engage with our stakeholders and the local community, businesses and residents throughout the project.
“We are looking forward to connecting our first customers in Cookstown in the winter of 2018, with a view to rolling gas out across homes in the area in 2019.”
Councillor Kim Ashton, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, who also attended the information event, welcomed the major Gas to the West investment for the area and the benefits expected for local residents, businesses and the wider economy. She said:
“This is such a significant project and ensuring local businesses have the opportunity to hear first-hand about the work schedule, as well as to raise queries, is very important. I welcome SGN’s commitment to on-going engagement and to seeing Gas to the West rolled out in Mid Ulster.”
Cookstown, Dungannon, Magherafelt and Coalisland – all within the Mid Ulster Council area – are four of the eight towns where SGN Natural Gas will be delivering natural gas mains, services and meters to nearly 40,000 customers over the next 40 years. The other towns included in the Gas to the West project are Strabane, Omagh, Enniskillen and Derrylin.
The initial routes which will see development work carried out will be the Drum Road, A29 Cookstown Road (Moneymore) and Cavan Road with the programme of works progressing through the town via A29 Dungannon Road, Strifehill Road, SandholesRoad, Killymoon Road, Birchgrove / Lomond Heights, Clare Lane, Molesworth Road / Street, Union Street, Old CoaghRoad and East Circular Road.The pipe laying work within the Cookstown area will be carried out on a phased basis and is estimated to last approximately 10 months, followed by a testing and commissioning phase which will have minimal impact.
Gas to the West is expected to support around 200 jobs during the construction phase. The new gas infrastructure is also expected to sustain a significant number of ongoing jobs for installation sub-contractors and other related functions.