- Planetary Road will become the regional hub for gas network Cadent’s West Midlands operations, with 150 desk spaces, meeting rooms and storage facility
- Building work set to begin within weeks and complete by May 2022
- “We aim to continue being a key part of the [Wolverhampton] community for many years to come” says Cadent's West Midlands Network Director Kate Grant
Gas network Cadent will move into one of the biggest office and warehouse spaces built in Wolverhampton in recent years, it is confirmed today.
The 25,000sq ft facility in Planetary Road will be the regional hub for Cadent’s ‘West Midlands’ network, which covers Congleton to Hereford, and the M1 to the Welsh borders.
The two-storey building has just secured planning permission and will house 150 desk stations, meeting rooms and welfare facilities for hundreds of employees and contractors.
Cadent is investing around £3m in the building fit out and taking a 20-year lease from property company Fiera Real Estate, which has in turn contracted with local developer Opus Land to manage the construction.
The gas network manages 15,000 miles of underground distribution pipes in its West Midlands network, as well as providing the region’s 24/7, year-round gas emergency service.
Cadent is a leading player in the UK journey to net zero, as it lays the foundations to switch our reliance on fossil gas, to greener gases like hydrogen and biomethane. These are considered essential to achieving carbon neutrality by the UK target date of 2050.
It currently has two bases in Wolverhampton and these operations – and all employees – will move to the new building when it’s ready to open, which should be around May 2022.
“We’ve got exciting times ahead, both in maintaining a safe, reliable gas network and in helping the West Midlands reach net zero,” said Kate Grant, Director of Cadent’s West Midlands Network.
“This new facility in Wolverhampton is exciting for us in many ways, not least in making sure we have the right work space for our team to thrive.
“We can’t really get much more central to the network than Wolverhampton and we aim to continue being a key part of this community for many years to come.”
Construction of the new building will begin within weeks.
It will house multi-faith facilities and contemplation rooms, a canteen and kitchen, showers and a rest room, and have level access throughout.
Solar panels on the roof will supplement power supply, rainwater will be harvested for toilet flushing and 10 per cent of car parking spaces will have EV charging points (with scope to expand).
As well as the office space, there will be 500 square metres of warehouse, for storage of machinery and other equipment essential to ensure the safe operation of the gas network.
Cadent in the West Midlands
Cadent operates four of the UK’s eight gas distribution networks: North West, West Midlands, Eastern and North London. Its West Midlands network covers a wide area from North Staffordshire to Herefordshire, reaching the M1 in the East and the Welsh borders on the West.
Hundreds of engineers and support teams ensure 24/7, year-round management of an underground piped gas distribution network which, if placed end to end, stretches to more than 15,000 miles. That’s almost 4.5 times the distance from Wolverhampton to New York.
Cadent also provides the region’s gas emergency service, with operatives ready to respond quickly, day and night, to reported gas escapes or carbon monoxide incidents, or to support the blue-light emergency services dealing with incidents where gas is present (e.g. house fires).
The West Midlands network is playing a huge role in helping to switch the gas grid away from fossil fuels, with Cadent, Keele University and other partners recently completing a UK-first trial of blending hydrogen into the existing gas pipe network. Using hydrogen in this blended way is a key step to converting the UK-wide system – essential to achieving net zero carbon emissions.