statement from Cheshire West and Chester council following recent disruption to the market :
Following a fire in the substation that serves the Forum Shopping Centre and Market in the early hours of 7th July, the Council initiated a rapid response from the emergency services and market staff.
By the time the fire service had gained entry and extinguished the fire, the substation had sustained significant damage, along with the cables externally in Princess Street. The incident was so severe that it had affected all electrical substations and supplies across two postcodes in the city.
Due to the extent of the damage sustained, it became clear that it would be some time before mains power could be provided so the Council immediately brought in three generators to provide temporary power to all areas. The team worked through the night and power was restored the following day.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, and the substation as an operational facility is not capable of repair. We are currently working with Scottish Power to find an alternative power source, but this is proving to be a very challenging task. In the meantime, generators have been used to maintain power.
Following issues with reliability, the Council took the decision to replace the three small generators with two larger, and more stable machines, with engineer back-up. Regrettably there have been further intermittent reliability issues with the generators and the council is working with the supplier to overcome these issues and maintain a safe and reliable power source. Engineers have been on site over the weekend to ensure power can be restored quickly if further faults occur.
The Council would like to apologise for the disruption caused and remains committed to keeping the current market open and safe for all its traders, customers and staff until the new market opens next year as part of the Northgate development currently under construction.