Two weeks of ‘hell’ for Northumberland businesses after recent power cut in town

Credit: LDR

Businesses in Northumberland suffered almost two weeks of 'hell' after a town's recent power outage.

Several properties around Alnwick market place spent around 24 hours without electricity following the fault, earlier this month.

Engineers from Northern Powergrid were able to restore supplies within a day thanks to emergency generators on 5 August - but several firms have been left feeling the impact of repair works.

One of those affected was the Pig in Muck pub, with its owner predicting he could be down £4,000 just from the loss of a day's trading.

Owner Jake Castleman said: "When we looked at compensation they offered us £150 to cover loss of earnings and stock [while the electricity was off], but on a busy sunny day or a market day [like the day the power was off] we could lose thousands of pounds.

"All our fridges and freezers were no good to us, so it's very frustrating to be offered pennies back on it."

Dean Jones, of Melvyn's Coffee House, had to bin stock worth about £1,000 following the power cut and also estimates he lost about £200 in sales - £50 less than the compensation on offer.

Jones said: "August is our best time of year, it's when you make the most money, so it's been pretty bad luck.

The coffee house owner says the repairs is effecting how many tables he can get outside Credit: LDR

Northumberland county councillor Gordon Castle said: "It's caused 12 to 13 days of hell.

"The generators caused constant noise while Northern Powergrid dug up the pavements to find the fault.

"It's no one's fault and I'm not overly critical, but it's most unfortunate for these firms and we're hoping it won't happen again because it's had quite an impact on several businesses."

A spokeswoman for Northern Powergrid, said: "Our teams successfully located the fault however while digging they discovered the ground contained reinforced concrete making it very difficult to access the cable, meaning it took longer than usual to restore power supplies for our customers.

"A permanent repair has now been completed and reinstatement works are under way and should be completed by early tomorrow.

"We've been in contact with local businesses and residents keeping them updated throughout and tried to carry out work, where possible, at the least disruptive times.

"We have contacted customers directly who we believe were without power for more than 12 hours, in line with industry guaranteed standards, offering them a payment to apologise and recognise the duration of the disruption."