Firms forced to hire own £5k generator for day-long cut off

Bhikau Mistry and Spencer Johnston, of Chesapeake Labels
Bhikau Mistry and Spencer Johnston, of Chesapeake Labels
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BUSINESSES are having to pay £5,000 for a generator while their power is cut off for a day.

Firms on an industrial estate in Roman Bank, Bourne, will be without electricity on Monday while E.on puts in a connection for the new Tesco development in South Road.

And the power firm says it is only duty-bound to provide generators to support medical machines and in cold weather to provide heating for vulnerable people.

It comes after the industrial estate and surrounding area had a blackout on Tuesday last week when a contractor cut through a cable leaving 600 properties without power.

One of the firms paying for the generator is Chesapeake, which is estimated to have lost £20,000 in the last blackout.

Nigel Terrett owns the firm, which produces labels for the pharmaceutical and agrichemical industries. He was going to pay the full cost but is receiving help from neighbours.

Mr Terrett said it was appalling that the power could be turned off for the day.

He said: “I have no choice. From my point of view I lose the revenue or pay the money and the money is a great deal less than the revenue.

“I don’t think this is down to me to do this.”

Another business which is contributing to the cost of the generator is Martin Lishman, which makes and supplies equipment for the agricultural, environmental and building industries.

Finance director Carol Lishman estimates the firm lost between £2,000 and £5,000 in lost orders and staffing costs last week.

She said they were reluctantly paying for the generator, adding: “I don’t think small businesses in this town should suffer.”

E.on said it was had to upgrade the connection for the Tesco site otherwise it would overload the network.

The firm said it meant engineers would need to work on its high voltage network.

E.on is required to provide a generator only in cases to support medical machines and cold weather for vulnerable people.

Spokesman Jonathan Smith said: “We have sympathy with the companies concerned.

“We are duty bound to provide the connection for the Tesco store in Bourne and this is what we will do.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “A break in power to the local area was caused on Monday when a contractor accidentally cut through a cable. This was fixed as soon as possible.

“E.on has recently informed us that they will need to make another power outage on Monday.

“This is because of a long-standing plan to divert one of their existing cables, which will travel past the new store and on to the industrial site.

“At the same time they will connect the new Tesco store to the electricity supply. However, this connection will only take one hour. It is the diversion of the power cable that requires the power to be switched off for most of the day.”

The power will be switched off between 8.30am and 4pm so a 500 kilovolt amp cable can be installed.