Residents have been invited to a meeting over plans to convert homes in Redcar to hydrogen gas – but the company behind them won’t be attending.

A campaign group – the Hydrogen Trial Residents Group – said it had secured technical experts to answer residents’ questions in a Q&A style session.

A spokesman said it was hoped to host a debate at the meeting on Thursday evening, but Northern Gas Networks – the company hoping to secure Government approval to convert the domestic gas supply of about 2,000 homes and businesses in Redcar, Kirkleatham and Warrenby – had declined its invite.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands there is concern on the company’s part about “misinformation” potentially alarming residents and counter claims that have been aired from those who oppose the project.

Darlington and Stockton Times: A protest previously held over the hydrogen heating trial which could take place in Redcar

It also did not want to give the impression, by attending, that the meeting was officially connected to the scheme.

A spokesman for the campaign group said it had asked repeatedly what misinformation was being referred to.

Referring to the meeting, which is to take place at the Redcar Rugby Union Club, on Green Lane, from 6.30pm, he said: “It would have been a debate had anybody been prepared to present the case for a Redcar hydrogen trial. 

“But nobody who is proposing the scheme was willing to do so.”

In July Redcar was left in the box seat to become the UK’s first so-called ‘hydrogen village’ after the Government said it would not proceed with Ellesmere Port, in the North West, as an option.

Kate Grannell, who led a residents group in Ellesmere Port protesting against similar plans there, is due to speak at the Redcar meeting.

Redcar and Cleveland Council leader Alec Brown, who is backing the scheme, previously referred to “unjustified hysteria” in giving his take on events, while Redcar MP Jacob Young, another supporter, claimed there had been a “campaign of mistruths” in Ellesmere Port.

NGN said it was still waiting to hear from the Government whether the project would progress.

Darlington and Stockton Times: An illustration of Northern Gas Networks Redcar hydrogen village proposal

A spokeswoman said: “Whilst we understand residents may wish to seek information from a variety of sources to inform their view,  we would encourage everyone to raise any questions or reservations with us at our Hydrogen Hub on [Redcar] High Street, or arrange for us to visit them in their home  .

“Ensuring people feel comfortable is a priority, and we have worked tirelessly over the last year to engage with and reassure residents and businesses, through drop-in sessions, door-knocking and public meetings. 

“In recent weeks we’ve been out knocking on doors and chatting to customers in the area and are pleased to find that a large majority of residents tell us they feel positive or neutral about the move to hydrogen or electric.”

NGN has stated that hydrogen can be used in the same way as natural gas now and would be a “low disruption” option in the transition away from carbon-burning fuels.

Anyone not wanting to convert will be offered an electric alternative.

Some critics argue hydrogen is more combustible and prone to leaks than natural gas and question how energy efficient it actually is.

  • For more information about the meeting visit