Chester generated its own clean carbon free electricity for almost half of the City’s electrical needs from 1914 to 1949 from the Hydro Electric Building on Castle Drive next to the Old Dee Bridge and opposite the University of Chester’s Riverside site. This building, currently unused and redundant, is being proposed as a Hydro Hub; a focal point for residents, schools and visitors to learn about what a low carbon world will look like and how all aspects of our lives will change as new technologies remove emissions from our industry, commerce, agriculture, homes, transport and food.
Plans for the Hydro Hub will be prepared during 2021 after which funds will be raised so that the building can be redeveloped and the visitor and education centre will open. A new Community Interest Company called Cheshire Heritage and Sustainability Enterprises CIC, or “CHASE”, has been set up to create and manage the Hydro Hub, partnering with local businesses and the council. CHASE is already working alongside Cheshire Historic Buildings Preservation Trust to develop designs and plans for operation as an education centre for schools, residents, visitors and potential new business investors.