Willington Cooling Towers

Willington Cooling Towers

This was quite an interesting look around, prior to visiting Drax and Ironbridge I had not been up and close to a set of cooling towers before… their is something rather ‘other worldly’ about the noise they make as they stand abadoned.

The coal-fired power station at Willington was built in the 1950s. Willington Power Station actually comprised of two almost entirely independent generating stations situated on the same site. With separate management and staff, the few facilities they shared amounted to the coal and water supply. The two stations were formally known as Willington ‘A’ and Willington ‘B’, with the ‘A’ Station closest to the main road. Station A came on line in 1957 and the B station a few years later. Two of the cooling towers belonged to the A station and 3 to the B station.Having operated throughout the 60s,70s and 80s on a nationalised basis they were then privatised and sold to National Power in 1989. It eventually closed in the 1990s, first station A in 1995 then the B station in 1999. As mentioned above most of the power station was demolished around 2000.

The site was earmarked for a large residential development, pending the results of a public inquiry however the construction plans met with local opposition and in January 2009 the proposed redevelopment of the former Willington Power Station site were not granted planning approval. In the mid-1990s a pair of peregrine falcons nested in one of the site’s huge cooling towers. Unlike many bird of prey breeding sites, this was widely publicised because of its impregnable location. In July 2013 plans were submitted to build a new gas-fired power station and if granted the cooling towers will be demolished.

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