1. ITV Report

Ferrybridge power station prepares for demolition of cooling towers

Ferrybridge C Power Station in West Yorkshire Credit: PA Images

The demolition of a record-breaking power station that provided energy to the UK for 50 years is "heart-wrenching", a project manger who has worked there for nearly three decades has said.

Four of the cooling towers that form Ferrybridge C, a landmark for drivers using the A1(M) and M62 motorways in West Yorkshire, are being taken down on October 13 after the site produced its final electricity in March 2016.

Another of Ferrybridge's eight cooling towers was brought down in July when the 114-metre-high Tower Six collapsed in a controlled explosion.

The final three towers are being retained in case a decision is taken to use the ground for a new gas-fired power station.

The project manager said that a nearby housing estate opposite the site will have to be evacuated on the day the four towers are demolished for safety, with the controlled explosives expected to collapse all four towers within about 10 seconds.

Ferrybridge C opened in 1966 and became the first power station in Europe to succeed in generating electricity from a 500-megawatt machine.

In 1973 one of the generators set a world record by running non-stop for 5,448 hours, generating 2,999 gigawatt hours.

The site's owners, energy company SSE, decided to shut down the coal-fired power station as it was believed to have no longer been economical.

The closure of the plant is part of the SSE's transition to low-carbon energy, with the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm, situated 13km off the Caithness Coast in Scotland, opening on July 29.