News

Topping out celebrations!

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.

You can watch a video of most of Howard Davidson’s speech and the ceremony by clicking here.

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.

Our topping out ceremony. Photo credit Adriano Figueiredo, Low Carbon Hub

Our topping out ceremony. Photo credit Adriano Figueiredo, Low Carbon Hub

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!

Osney Lock Hydro Civils near completion. Photo credit Adriano Figueiredo, Low Carbon Hub

Osney Lock Hydro Civils near completion. Photo credit Adriano Figueiredo, Low Carbon Hub.