Council is set to switch its street lights

A £25million modernisation project that seeks to half council street lighting bills will begin later this year.

Northumberland County Council is seeking to replace up to 16,000 street lighting columns over the next three years.

All lamps will be fitted with eco-friendly, fully-controlled LED lantern units, which use less energy than the current lights. They also offer the capability to vary lighting levels and should significantly reduce light pollution, while slashing energy and maintenance costs and cutting carbon emissions.

The council has also pledged that its buildings and signs will be down-lighted with LEDs, instead of using floodlighting with tungsten lights.

Funding for the project comes through an Invest To Save scheme, and the money will be re-paid from expected budget savings over 25 years.

Council Executive Director of Place Barry Rowland said: “This is a huge task to completely modernise our street lighting in the county.

“We expect to make savings in excess of 50 per cent in both energy and maintenance budgets through the investment in new technology, which should achieve savings of around £200,000 per year.”

Galliford Try Infrastructure has been appointed to deliver the design contract.

A works programme will be published on the council’s website and updated as the scheme progresses. It is set to start in August.

Galliford Try Highway Maintenance Director Matthew Burke said: “We have a strong track record in street lighting and other highways works and look forward to bringing our experience to bear on this exciting new project.”