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Two colleagues wearing Personal Protective Equipment are walking away from the camera, across fields. Electricity towers and cabling stretch off into the distance

Dorset Visual Impact Provision

Enhancing an area of outstanding natural beauty by replacing towers and overhead lines with underground cable

Customer: National Grid
Location: Dorset
Value: circa £80m
Completion: June 2022

lightning bolt



of overhead line to be replaced

tower electricity


towers being removed from the landscape



archaeologists working on site

location pin with map



of cable being installed

National Grid’s Visual Impact Provision (VIP) programme sets out to reduce the impact of existing electricity transmission lines in Areas of Outstanding National Beauty (AONBs) and National Parks across England and Wales.

One of several projects within the wider VIP programme, Dorset VIP is the first to be undertaken and involves the removal of 22 towers and 8.8 kilometres of overhead lines near the villages of Martinstown and Winterbourne Abbas, replacing them with an underground connection.

This work forms part of the Engineer, Procure and Construct (EPC) cable framework, which we were appointed to in 2016.

Project fact

The project site hosts evidence of early Roman activity: items discovered by archaeologists included a Severn Valley ware tankard, estimated to date from between AD 40 and 100.

Surveying the project route

Making a difference

We're using a new method to receive the 109 cable drums, each weighing 40 tonnes, required for the project. With a specialised trailer provided by our in-house plant company Magnor Plant, we're able to offload the drums without needing cranes or lifting equipment. This reduces cost and safety risk, gives greater flexibility in managing logistics, and improves the installation and management of the cables.

We're also contributing to the community with our sponsorship of a local cricket team.

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