Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks has agreed to invest £24m for upgrading electricity network in Bicester and surrounding areas.

The network operator for the local area is finalising plans for the installation of a new 18km underground cable and new electricity substation in one of the biggest projects ever undertaken in central southern England.

The work, which will start next spring, will expand and improve the network that serves the homes and businesses in Bicester, Upper Heyford, Cottisford, Arncott, Headington, Yarnton, and Witney.

With Bicester set to see the construction of 10,000 new homes by 2031, this upgrade is essential in enabling the existing electricity infrastructure, which is nearing its capacity, to meet this growing demand for electricity.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Customer Operations director Stuart Hogarth said: “This £24milion project is one of the largest we have ever undertaken, and is an essential upgrade to the electricity infrastructure in and around the Bicester area.

"The environment within which our network operates is continuously changing, with new properties and renewable sources of energy connecting to it all the time, and we will continue to invest to ensure that all of our equipment is able to meet this increase in demand.

"By doing this, we can continue to provide our customers with a safe, reliable, uninterrupted supply of electricity.”

The network improvements for Bicester are due to be completed by the end of 2018.