What the future holds for Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station as iconic towers set to close in 2024

What do you do with a massive power station when it closes? Here’s what Ratcliffe-on-Soar could become after it closes in September
The Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station is closing this SeptemberThe Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station is closing this September
The Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station is closing this September

For more than 50 years, those returning to Nottingham have been welcomed by the iconic sight of Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station. 

Steam from the power station’s giant cooling towers has been rising since 1968 and is often the first sign of home after some time away. 

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But in just a few months, steam from the unmissable towers will rise for the final time - bringing 56 years of energy production to an end. 

Read more: Your Nottingham

In line with government policy, Ratcliffe - Nottinghamshire’s last remaining coal-fired power station - is set to close in September.

Given the government’s target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the power station’s closure only emphasises the shift in strategy to ‘green’ electricity production. 

However, Ratcliffe itself will not simply disappear overnight. 

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With its closure just months away, we’ve taken a look at what the future could hold for the famous Nottinghamshire landmark.

Ratcliffe-on-Soar power stationRatcliffe-on-Soar power station
Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station

What will happen to the power station after it shuts? 

In July last year, Rushcliffe Borough Council granted the power station site with a Local Development Order (LDO). 

Essentially, the LDO allows the development of the site to be fast-tracked after the power station shuts in September. 

The council hopes that the LDO will increase the speed at which planning processes can be progressed for a range of modern industrial uses. 

Possible uses for the 265-hectare site include: 

  • A zero-carbon technology and energy hub for the East Midlands

  • Highly skilled, well-paid jobs

  • Modern industry and business uses, served by on-site sustainable energy generation and storage

  • Advanced manufacturing and low-carbon energy production, for example, to produce electric car batteries

  • A hub for research, development, and innovation, through links with universities, business support organisations, and established industry

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It’s hoped that the site’s future renewable uses could create up to 7,000 jobs.

Local residents and businesses had a chance to have their say on the proposals in a series of consultations in 2021 and 2022.

As a result, some of the land has been limited specifically to low-carbon energy production and storage or manufacturing use.