National Grid launches consultation on planned Grain to Tilbury infrastructure upgrades

  • The Grain to Tilbury project will see the replacement of the existing Thames Cable Tunnel, linking Tilbury and Gravesend, alongside the delivery of a new headhouse at each end of the tunnel
  • The existing Thames Cable Tunnel between Tilbury and Gravesend is over 50 years old and is coming to the end of its useful life. The proposed new tunnel will replace this and help to reinforce the local network
  • Grain to Tilbury will help the UK achieve its net zero target for 2050 by connecting more offshore wind power
  • National Grid will consult communities for four weeks as part of a public consultation which includes in person and online events. The deadline for feedback is Sunday 29 October

National Grid is holding a public consultation on its plans to upgrade electricity infrastructure between Grain and Tilbury. The consultation is now live and will run for four weeks until Sunday 29 October 2023.

As part of its plans, National Grid Electricity Transmission proposes to build a new cable tunnel underneath the Thames, which will deliver cleaner electricity to the area. This will require planning permission under the Town and Country Planning Act, in both Thurrock and Gravesham.

Two new ‘headhouses’ will also be built at either end of the tunnel at Gravesend and Tilbury.

These headhouses are buildings that are needed to connect the tunnel and act as access points for National Grid workers. Both headhouses will also require planning permission from both Thurrock and Gravesham Council.

Additionally, a new pylon at each headhouse site will need installing at a later date in 2027 or 2028.

National Grid is also planning the later refurbishment of the existing overhead line between Tilbury, Kingsnorth and the Isle of Grain, though this phase of works is not planned until 2028 and does not form part of this consultation.

The Grain to Tilbury proposal form part of a wider suite of infrastructure upgrades and reinforcements planned by National Grid as part of The Great Grid Upgrade, the largest overhaul of the electricity grid in generations. The Great Grid Upgrade will play a big part in the UK government’s plan to power all homes and businesses with green energy by 2030.

Grain to Tilbury also forms part of the ‘Accelerated Strategic Transmission Investment’ programme, which is targeted at unlocking the government’s target to connect 50 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030. These are key projects, approved by Ofgem, which have been identified to deliver on National Grid’s net zero commitments.

Bryan Truscott, Lead Project Manager, commented: “The Grain to Tilbury project is essential to upgrade the energy network in Kent and Essex to ensure that we can continue to carry more clean energy to homes and businesses, and help the country reach net zero by 2050.

“Local people can take part in the consultation and speak with our team by attending one of our public consultation events, joining an online webinar, or by visiting the project website.

Details of the events are:

Clarendon Royal Community
Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, DA12 2BE
Wednesday, 11 October, 3pm-7pm

Tilbury Community Association
Civic Square, Tilbury, RM18 8AA
Friday 13 October, 3pm-7pm

The consultation is also being hosted on a project website where residents may also register to attend a webinar session.

Gravesham Webinar
Wednesday 18 October

Thurrock Webinar
Thursday 19 October

All information about the consultation and how to give feedback can be found on the project website,

Residents who prefer to respond to the consultation via post can receive a printed copy of the feedback form and freepost envelope by calling the telephone information line on 020 3398 1599.

Residents within the immediate vicinity of the proposed project will also receive a newsletter with more information on the consultation.


Contact for media information only:
Helen Blake 07790 824788