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Northern Gas Networks to carry out essential demolition of redundant South Shields Gas Holder.

Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the gas distributor for the North of England, is to start work later this month on the safe demolition and removal of the redundant Gas Holder Station located on Oyston Street, South Shields.

The facility hasn’t stored gas for over 10 years. The scheme will involve the removal of the underground holder tank and the steel framework surrounding it. A disused building on the site will also be demolished.

Engineers do not anticipate any direct impact to the local area because nuisance noise, dust and vibration will be monitored to ensure it remains below levels that would be deemed intrusive. The demolition work is scheduled to run from 26th October 2022 to April 2023.

Mark Johnson, Senior Project Manager from NGN’s Capital Projects team, said: “We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused during these essential works. However, it is vital we complete them in order to continue to maintain a safe and reliable gas supply to the residents of South Shields.“We want to assure residents, local businesses and road users that we will be working hard to complete this essential scheme as safely and as quickly as possible.”

The site has a colourful history. In 1855 a residential development called ‘Oystons Court’ and a public house were located there. The surrounding land was already extensively developed and within 100m of the site boundary there was a railway line, a gasworks with three associated gasometers, an iron works, a brewery, a colliery, a pottery and a clay yard.

The remaining gas holder on site was erected in 1886 and the adjacent land designated as a ’gasworks’. While the area around the site was subject to much change and redevelopment over the years, the site layout has not significantly changed, until the land was redeveloped to accommodate a Supermarket and Retail Outlet.

The gas holder – made of riveted steel construction, with cast iron columns and steel lattice work and was built by G & W Walker Ltd – has become a local landmark in South Shields over the decades, so NGN is working with the Tyne & Wear Local Authority Archaeological Officer to capture and commemorate the giant structure and retain its heritage and history for future generations.

This will involve recording the engineering and heritage aspects of the holder in photo and film footage, as well as using laser scanning technology to ensure those records are captured for posterity.

Mark Johnson added: “We know how important these structures can be to communities and we’ll working closely with local residents and stakeholders to give them the opportunity to commemorate these structures as they disappear from the skyline.”

Local people are being encouraged to email their memories of the Oyston Street area over the years to or send via our social media channels Facebook/northerngasnetworks and @NGNgas

For further information about the work please contact NGN’s Customer Care Team on 0800 040 7766 or email:

Anyone that smells gas or suspects carbon monoxide should call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

For around 100 years, gas holders were a vital part of the local gas supply system, responsible for storing manufactured coal gas which was supplied to thousands of people across the region.

In more recent years, they were used to bolster the network’s gas supplies at peak times, during colder weather.

However, advances in technology and the enhanced storage capability of the modern-day gas network, means that gas holders are no longer required.

NGN is aiming to safely dismantle 23 of its holders in the coming months as part of its continued investment in modernising the network.

NGN is committed to taking down its gas holders in an environmentally responsible way, by recycling as many materials as possible.

About Northern Gas Networks

Since we started operating in 2005, we’ve been leading the way as one of the most cost-efficient of the UK’s eight gas distribution networks. We deliver great value for money to our customers, as well as a whole host of social and economic benefits to our region.

We’re recognised as a dynamic, passionate, conscious and people focused team that safely and reliably delivers gas to over 2.7 million homes and businesses across the North East, northern Cumbria and much of Yorkshire.

Although we don’t source the gas, fix boilers and appliances, or get involved with plumbing, we work with those that do to deliver it through a vast network of underground pipes that are constantly being invested in and upgraded.

It’s more complicated than it sounds so we’re always exploring cutting-edge thinking, revolutionary engineering practices and world-class science to find new ways to provide sustainable sources of energy.

And while our customers may not see us very often, they can sleep soundly knowing that we’re working around the clock to keep them connected and make sure they stay safe.

For more information visit Alternatively, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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