Changing fortunes for power generating team

A 40-strong team runs Britain’s newest electricity generator – Carrington Power Station in Greater Manchester.

The 880MW combined cycle gas turbine, officially opened by Minister for Energy Jesse Norman MP in March 2017, is said to be one of the most efficient thermal plants in the UK, creating clean energy to power a million homes over the next 25 years.

During the £710m four-year build programme, begun in 2013 on the site of an old coal-fired power station, more than 800 personnel worked on the 23ha project, making do with temporary changing and washroom facilities.

The 40 who now work at Carrington permanently enjoy a little more luxury to a standard befitting the scale and prestige of the generating operation, the first large-scale plant of its kind built in Britain since 2013.

“The steel lockers did the job during construction but when you are talking about a project worth the best part of £1bn, you need to reflect that in working conditions,” says Leigh Greenwood, Mechanical Technician for Carrington Power, the subsidiary of Ireland’s state-owned Electricity Supply Board (ESB) “and that includes staff changing rooms.”

Leigh was tasked with finding replacement changing for the operational team and put the project out to tender, specifying bespoke furniture manufacturer Crown Sports Lockers for the fitout. “Price wasn’t the deciding factor,” he states. “We wanted quality too and felt that Crown offered the fit-for-purpose facility we were seeking.”

The supply had to satisfy a spread of job functions – from office assistants, operations staff, team leaders and managers, he explains.

Sam Palmer, Crown’s dedicated Project Manager for the Carrington job, visited Leigh several times to fine tune designs.

Some 60 full-length timber lockers in light oak – with “clean and dirty” compartments to hang day clothes and workwear – bench seating and grey laminate shower doors in the existing wet area ensure staff have a comfortable, welcoming environment in which to change.

Just four lockers were fitted in the female changing area as “only two women work here”, Leigh explains, 16 in the mens, 22 in the operations rooms and another 16 for managers and team leaders.

“I was impressed with Crown’s professional approach throughout the project,” adds Leigh, “visiting us two or three times, communicating promptly and fitting the whole job within a week with minimal disruption.”