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18th July 2014

A team of engineers from Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) has completed work to replace a section of overhead line with underground cable at Thurso East, where the Caithness County Show is due to be held this weekend.

The move follows a request by the Show's Committee to SHEPD to make access to the site easier. Four spans of overhead line and three wooden poles have now been replaced with underground cable.

Employees from SHEPD and sister business Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission will be on hand at the Show today and tomorrow to discuss their forthcoming plans with the public.

Last week energy regulator Ofgem approved the need for a £1.2 billion investment in the transmission network between Caithness and Moray, with construction expected to begin later this year. Investment plans for the future of the local distribution network up until 2023 are also currently being assessed.

SHEPD's Caithness Manager David Morrison said:"After the Show Committee got in touch with us last year, we agreed to explore the options to enable uninhibited access to the showfield for everyone.

"Electricity networks are essential to keep the lights on for our customers and overhead lines play a critical part. Where we can find a way to improve the safety of the network for the public, it's something we would always want to pursue actively. We would like to thank the landowner and the show organisers for working with us to make this improvement possible.

"We’re very much looking forward to what promises to be another great event, showcasing the very best of Caithness."

Caithness Show Secretary Kerry Mackenzie said:“We’re really pleased that SHEPD has been able to get this work completed in time for this year’s Show.

“The Show Committee works very hard throughout the year to make sure we can have a safe and enjoyable event for everyone. With the tricky section of overhead line out of the way, we’re in ‘pole position’ for an exciting weekend ahead."

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