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  • VIP Landscape Enhancement Initiative

    • Latest Update May 2017 

      Five projects intended to help reduce the visual impact of National Grid’s existing high voltage overhead lines and improve the related visual quality of the landscape have been selected to be taken forward to receive funding through the Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI).

      The LEI aims to provide up to £24 million over six years.  This is in addition to the major capital schemes which will come forward for funding from the VIP project itself.

      Following the launch of the LEI in May 2016, the 30 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and National Parks that contain National Grid electricity infrastructure were invited to submit applications for individual, small-scale projects up to the value of £200,000.

      An independently-chaired approvals panel comprising of experts from Cadw, Historic England, Natural England and Natural Resources Wales was invited to review the applications, and in August 2016, five projects were recommended to be taken forward to receive funding from the LEI. 

      These applications came from the High Weald AONB, North York Moors National Park, Peak District National Park and Snowdonia National Park.

      Ofgem has recently concluded a 28-day license consultation period on the modification of National Grid’s license to enable it to release the funding required for the LEI projects, and a decision is expected imminently. 

      About LEI

      National Grid, following approval from the Stakeholder Advisory Group, has developed an initiative which will use part of the £500 million allocation for smaller localised visual improvement projects which can be accessed by all AONBs and National Parks with existing National Grid electricity infrastructure.

      The scheme was launched in May 2016, this landscape enhancement initiative has an ambition to provide up to £24 million over six years (May 2016 to March 2021). The aim of the initiative will be to reduce the visual impact of National Grid’s existing infrastructure and improve the related visual quality of the landscape.

      While in some cases, views of the line may be screened or softened, in many cases where it may not be possible to address the impacts of the electricity line directly, it may be possible to ‘shift the balance’ of the impacts by enhancing the local environment in other ways.

      This is in addition to the major capital schemes which will come forward for funding from the VIP project itself.

      For more information on the project please follow the link – lei.nationalgrid.com