Outdoor

Birmingham £4m LED roll-out on target despite disruption

An engineer in a high-vis jacket up a cherry picker inspects a street light
The non-PFI housing lighting maintenance upgrade project was awarded to McCann by Birmingham City Council in 2019 and will see an investment of £3.8m to upgrade and maintain 3,000 existing lighting units with LED lighting technology

THE FOUR-YEAR project to bring LED street lights to Birmingham’s resident streets is on target and has reached its first major landmark, despite wider disruption in the supply chain. 

After year one, works were successfully completed by Nottingham-based civil and electrical engineering firm McCann in April this year.

The non-PFI housing lighting maintenance upgrade project was awarded to McCann by Birmingham City Council in 2019 and will see an investment of £3.8m to upgrade and maintain 3,000 existing lighting units with LED lighting technology and associated infrastructure. 

Works started on 1 April last year with an expected project completion date of 31 March 2023.

The  lighting being installed in Birmingham will bring significant benefits to both city residents and the local authority, says Paul Laythorpe, highways electrical asset manager for Birmingham City Council.

‘As with many local authorities across the country, we see the benefits of making a significant financial investment in order to bring the latest street lighting technology to our roads. 

‘Replacing assets that are beyond their useful life with energy efficient equivalents is not only cost effective for us, but also for our residents,’ says Laythorpe.

‘Once complete, our non-PFI housing lighting scheme will reduce the electricity associated with Housing street lighting by 50 per cent and bring Birmingham City Council’s annual spend on housing street lighting down by £75,000. 

‘It will also reduce light pollution and create a much safer environment for road users and pedestrians.’

The four year contract also includes the collation and verification of existing lighting asset data using mobile technology and GIS mapping.

‘The team at McCann has been a pleasure to collaborate with on this project. We’re on track to meet the deadlines set out at the commencement of the works and despite the environment we now find ourselves in, their approach has remained positive and dedicated at all times to deliver what we set out to back in April last year.’

Tiz Gibson, local authority business director for McCann, is satisfied with the progress so far.

‘I think this project, alongside those in London, North Yorkshire and both North and North East Lincolnshire, demonstrates how far we’ve come in recent years – gaining all the necessary accreditations to work as principal contractor on major LED lighting schemes UK-wide.

“The benefits of investing in LED lighting are considerable for all involved and this shift has been happening for a number of years now. 

‘It’s great to see because long-term it helps the country to reduce its carbon emissions dramatically while driving down the cost of operating the infrastructure for local authorities.’