The Winter’s Tale: autumn facelift for Stratford-upon-Avon’s ‘60s gas mains

in your area

  • Ageing 1960s gas mains being renewed in Henley Street and Union Street
  • Public drop-in event on Wednesday 22 August
  • New pipes will keep local homes and businesses safe and warm for the rest of the century
The Beatles were topping the charts, the Royal Shakespeare Company had just been formed and the Shakespeare Centre was opening its doors when new gas mains were laid in Stratford-upon-Avon’s Henley Street.

But after more than half a century of keeping ‘Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold’ at bay for local residents and businesses, the iron pipes are showing their age and are set for a major upgrade.

Local gas network Cadent will be renewing 360 metres of ageing gas mains in Henley Street and Union Street, starting on 3 September for 12 weeks.

Cadent will be holding a public drop-in event on 22 August, 10am – 2pm, in the Wolfson Hall at the Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, to answer questions and provide more information about the project. A virtual reality display will show how the work will be carried out.

Engineers will be replacing 1960s gas mains with tough new plastic pipes that will last at least 80 years. The new pipes will keep local homes and businesses safe and warm until the end of the century.

Work will start in Henley Street on 3 September until 5 November. The new plastic pipes will be inserted inside the existing iron mains, reducing disruption and avoiding the need for an open trench down Henley Street.

The new pipe will be laid via three ‘connection holes’ – one at the top of Henley Street, one at the junction of Henley Street and Meer Street and one in Lower Henley Street, towards the junction with Bridge Street. Small holes will also be needed to replace service pipes – smaller pipes that link individual properties to the gas main in the street – for those buildings that have gas.

The work will not affect access to Shakespeare’s Birthplace, the library, the post office or businesses and cafes in Henley Street. Vehicle access to Henley Street (during permitted hours) will not be affected.

Steve Murray, who heads up Cadent’s gas mains replacement programme in Warwickshire and the West Midlands, said: “For more than 50 years the hidden gas network beneath Henley Street and Union Street has been quietly, safely and reliably supplying gas to keep people warm and businesses thriving.
“However, these gas mains are ageing and it’s vital that we replace them. We are very conscious that we will be working close to Shakespeare’s Birthplace, a site of international interest and we are working with the local authorities and the community to minimise any impact. Once we’ve installed the new pipes we won’t need to come back and renew them until at least the end of the century.”
The second phase of the project will start in Union Street on 4 November for three weeks. To carry out the work safely, Union Street will be closed to through traffic.

If anyone has any enquiries about this work they are welcome to attend the drop-in event or contact Cadent’s customer services team on 0161 703 1110.  Find out more about how Cadent replaces gas mains and how that affects residents and businesses.


Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy.  We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change.  Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency.   Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing. 

Future of Gas: Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

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Media contacts

Rebecca Wright

07899 983792