Earlier today we celebrated a successful conclusion to the groundbreaking partnership between Osney Lock Hydro and the Environment Agency to build the hydro base and the Weir B replacement structure.
The topping out ceremony was led by Howard Davidson, South East Regional Director of the Environment Agency. He concluded the ceremony by unfurling a banner, aided by representatives of some of the many groups involved in the project to date, including Osney Lock Hydro, Oxford City Council and the local residents, including one of the newest members of our community.
More than 60 people turned out to watch the riverside ceremony, including local residents, Osney Lock Hydro members, representatives from the many organisations directly involved in the scheme as well as people from other community owned schemes on the Thames. Thank you to our contractors, Greenfords for generously treating us all to warming coffee, mulled wine and mince pies at our post ceremony celebrations at the Punter pub.
Osney Lock Hydro is the first community-‐owned hydro scheme to be built on the Thames. The community of West Oxford has been committed to seeing the project through since its inception 12 years ago in 2001. It was pushed forward in June 2012 when the Environment Agency gave notice that they were going to replace the Weir B structure and gates. A huge effort by the community to raise funds and a willingness by the Environment Agency to work in an innovative partnership meant that the project was finally able to go ahead in July 2013.
Today’s event highlighted what an incredible team effort it has been, and provided a rare opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved as a result of everyone’s fantastic support. Thank you all!