Our History

It all began before Doomsday

People had dammed up and diverted some of the River Thames flow to power a water mill on the Thames, beyond View Island in Caversham. That mill is recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1086.

The weirs and then a lock at Caversham were built up over the centuries in the location they are now.


Then a few years ago, along came The Reading Sustainability Centre project, who realised the potential for generating hydro power at the weir.

We applied for our initial planning permission in September 2015. You can view the full application here.

The Reading Hydro Community Benefit Society has been created to take forward the development, and ultimately operation, of the hydro project.

The full technical and financial plan for the project are underway. These final plans will allow us to finalise the most appropriate technology and design, to raise the funds required and to start building.

Planning permission was obtained in Summer  2015. In February 2016 the Environment Agency granted the licences required to operate a hydro project on Caversham Weir, and the final decision was made by the Planning Department in May 2017 .

Reading Hydro fulfilled all the requests by the Environment Agency, and consequently have the relevant licenses from them. One of these was to produce a contaminated land risk assessment, involving wide research of the local history and geology, which we shall openly share through this website