Green light given for civil engineering training academy   

The official go-ahead has been given for a new civil engineering training academy in the North East. 

Seymour Civil Engineering’s plans for an 11-acre training facility have now been approved and its aim is to help tackle a gaping UK-wide skills shortage in the sector.

Kevin Byrne, Managing Director of the multi award-winning firm, says that the academy will impact both locally and nationally, providing qualifications to those needed to construct the nation’s future infrastructure.  

Staff will work in collaboration with Hartlepool College of Further Education to provide qualifications for construction operatives from Seymour, the College and external organisations at the Hartlepool-based academy which will replicate a fully functioning construction site. 

Kevin said: “There is a skills shortage, we’re addressing it and now that planning permission has been given we can move forward with a view to opening fully for business in time for the new academic year. 

“While the initial ambition was to train our own staff – both current and future – we realised that there is a gap in the market and we will be able to train people from other businesses as well as new entrants to the construction industry. 

“The kernel of the idea came about seven years ago when we were having difficulty accessing local training so we started to offer our own internal training with approved in-house trainers.  

“As the industry progressed – and required more skills – we wanted to offer a wider variety of training to a larger volume of people and an increased number of apprentices.” 

Civil Engineering Contractors Association members recently revealed the future supply of skilled operatives was the largest concern for firms in all parts of the UK. 

 According to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) the construction industry needs to recruit in excess of 31,000 people every year to 2022, while research by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills suggests more than 750,000 people will leave the sector between 2014 and 2024.  

It was in 2016 Hartlepool Borough Council was approached by Seymour and the College with a view to finding a suitable site for the academy which will be located on Brenda Road. 

The academy will feature two training buildings, classrooms, welfare facilities, storage containers and toilets. Wildlife and ecological considerations will be addressed and utilised as a training resource. 

Kevin says that as well as contributing to plugging the skills gap, another major benefit of the facility is that it will provide a welcome boost to the local economy.  

He said: “We have been extremely pleased by the very positive approach of Hartlepool Borough Council councillors who see the social and economic benefit of this. 

“The more people that we can attract to the academy, the more money will be directed to the service sector in the town such as at hotels and accommodation.”

 Hartlepool College of Further Education has supported the project throughout and will be the awarding body for the academy’s qualifications including NVQs.

Andrew Steel, Assistant Principal of Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “This is great news and a fantastic opportunity for the long-standing partnership between Hartlepool College of Further Education and Seymour Civil Engineering to deliver a unique civil engineering academy to the area.

“The academy will offer excellent training opportunities across a wide variety of civil engineering, plant and construction skills, increase apprenticeship opportunities in the Tees Valley as well as employing additional training staff to meet the anticipated demand.” 

Kevin says that training will be taken up a gear as operatives will be able to practice on a site that’s authentic, but away from commercial pressures, allowing repeat exercises until required skill levels are achieved.

He said: “We will be offering nationally recognised qualifications that will allow civil engineers to work to the very highest level – on projects such as HS2 and Thames Tideway. Civil engineers that have come through our training academy ranks will be there to help deliver the nation’s infrastructure. 

“It’s all about giving them meaningful hands on experience and confidence on a real site.  

“When we look at the demographic of the company over the next five years we are inevitably going to be losing people through retirement, people with 30 and 40 years’ experience. We do not want to lose those skills, they need to be passed on.

“This is an opportunity for genuine hands-on trainers to be able to show students the Seymour way as well as deliver those vocational skills.” 

Bridge over troubled waters

A crumbling rail bridge located in a town’s ‘best kept secret’ area can now continue to safely carry passengers to their destination. 

It’s an area renowned for its natural beauty – but for the very same reason expert engineers worked in challenging conditions to support the failing Victorian rail underbridge over Greatham Beck, on the outskirts of Hartlepool in the Tees Valley. 

A range of specialist organisations – including Seymour Civil Engineering and AmcoGiffen – came together to complete the project despite being its difficult tidal location and abundant wildlife including kingfisher, woodpeckers and owls. 

Chris Byrne, Contracts Manager for Seymour Civil Engineering, said: “The project has run for 12 weeks and was taken on in collaboration with our sister company AmcoGiffen, which had been contracted by its client Network Rail, to strengthen the Greatham Beck rail bridge. 

“The whole area is teeming with wildlife so we also worked with the Environment Agency to ensure its protection. 

“But despite dealing with the very intricate challenges we faced with tides and wildlife, we finished the project on time and to budget.” 

The underbridge is located between Billingham railway station and Seaton Carew railway station, but no travel was affected during the work, which included installing a steel ‘liner’ under the bridge, masonry repairs and repairing fractures.  

Nick Hill, Senior Project Manager at AmcoGiffen, explained more about the work required to support the structure. 

He said: “The arch structure had deteriorated to such an extent that it was necessary to carry out major works.   

“For this kind of structure it’s normal to line the arch with corrugated steel structure to effectively make the brick arch redundant. As the brick arch deteriorates over the years the steel liner will take more and more of the load. 

“The main challenge was working in an environmentally sensitive area requiring various consents, tidal fluctuations and water management. 

“The tidal conditions were challenging due to the large differences in level from low to high tide. At times of very high tide the water was able to flow over our dam, but the water drained back out when the tide receded allowing us to continue working.” 

An engineering team of around 20 worked on the project which took 12 weeks to complete, starting in mid July and completing at the end of October. 

Nick added: “The project was a very successful example of how teams wanting to work together and communicate well can deliver a high quality project to budget and programme.” 

For more information about Seymour Civil Engineering and its work visit http://www.seymourcec.co.uk

Landmark 40th year for civil engineering company as it scoops national title

It’s a 40th birthday to remember for a civil engineering firm rounding off its year of celebrations with a clutch of awards – including a national title.  

Seymour Civil Engineering was awarded the Health, Safety and Wellbeing award at the National Constructing Excellence Awards at an esteemed event in London.  

The award is hot on the heels of the North East Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Awards in Newcastle, where Seymour picked up the Health and Safety Company of the Year and Training Company of the Year 2018 for the third year running.  

Kevin Byrne, Managing Director at Seymour, said that it was the perfect end to an outstanding 40th year.  

He said: “We have always had a strong focus on health and safety and training – and these awards show our continued commitment to these key workplace issues.  

“The awards are also testament to our wonderful, dedicated staff whose work is helping to delivering high quality workmanship to projects of both regional and national significance.”  

He added: “We’ve had a fantastic 40th year and are looking forward to what 2019 brings, with plenty more exciting projects to deliver.”  

The judges paid credit to how Seymour has set up a series of health and wellbeing campaigns, covering subjects including the dangers of silica, healthy eating and mental health awareness as well as the development of a positive health, safety and wellbeing culture that had been created throughout the company.  

It’s been a busy year for Seymour which has been involved in a number of flagship projects, including the installation of the highway drainage and kerb drainage works on behalf of Sisk on the Silverlink project – the gigantic £75m upgrade of the junction in North Tyneside.  

It also carried out the civil and infrastructure work for the £18m ‘Remaking Beamish’ project – the biggest in the County Durham living museum’s history.  

Seymour qualified for the national Constructing Excellence Award after it won two titles in the regional heats. It was also finalist within the National Awards for the Civil Engineering Project of the Year for the Hartlepool Town Wall in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council.  

At the national award ceremony on Friday, November 16, Seymour went up against eight other finalists in its winning category, including Wilmott Dixon, Speller Metcalfe and NGBail. 

Heroic Hartlepool rugby team do sponsors Seymour proud

Heroic Hartlepool finished in an excellent third place on their second entry into the Bangkok International Rugby Sevens.

The united side, made up of players from four Hartlepool & District clubs, produced a superb effort in stifling heat in the Thai capital. Beating Spanish side, Wiss, 21-12 in the Bowl final to decide the third and fourth positions.

Hartlepool enjoyed a stunning opening day by winning all three games in Group B.

The squad, sponsored by Seymour Civil Engineering, Hart Biologicals and J&B Recycling scored 10 tries, all converted by Ryan Foreman, in victories over Almaty, from Kazakhstan, (21-7), Central Queensland Dingoes (28-14) and Thailand team All for One (21-7).

In Sunday’s International semi-final, the Michael Ainslie-coached team were pitched with Confrerie Occitan in a mouth-watering England v France confrontation.

Les Bleus made the brighter start, scoring two converted first-half tries.

Hartlepool hit back after the break when Foreman chipped ahead for skipper Brad Green to touch down wide out, but they could not find any more scores and went down 14-5, their first defeat of the 2018 competition.

That took them into the Bowl final, where, Wiss, sevens and beach rugby specialists awaited them.

Were Hartlepool disappointed to miss out on a main final showdown with the Pacific Barbarians? Of course, but despondent they were not as they produced a come-from-behind victory over their Spanish opponents, who were old friends from the 2017 tournament.

Friendship went out of the window from the first whistle as Wiss ran in a converted try in the opening minute to go 7-0 up.

Hartlepool attacked at all times but in trying to force things too much, they allowed Wiss the opportunity to counter-attack and only great covering work by Green prevented a possible 14-0 lead to open up.

But some powerful driving play by Aidan Jackson-Smith saw him knock Wiss players out off the way as though were skittles to feed Taz Pelser who scoreed the equalizing try with Foreman converting.

A massive take by Sean McCallum at the start of the second half led to a brilliant Hartlepool try with Peter Youll and Green handling before finding Callum Whitehead whose rampaging run took him all the way to the try-line. Foreman added the extra points and United’s lead was 14-7.

Hartlepool threatened a third try from the re-start, only for Wiss to intercept and run the full length of the Pattana field to score.

Thankfully, McCallum’s back-tracking meant the Spanish touched down wide out and the missed conversion meant Hartlepool kept their noses in front at 14-12.

The next score was going to be decisive and it was Hartlepool who got it, with the team attacking both sides of the posts before Foreman and Pelser combined for the marauding Maddison to charge over. Foreman’s conversion made it 21-12 and there was no way back for Wiss.

Team manager John Bickerstaff declared: “This was a fantastic effort from the entire squad throughout the whole tournament.

“To be returning home with the Bowl is a testament to the work put in and the rugby produced in incredibly hot conditions.

“The players deserve tremendous credit, but our thanks go to the sponsors who made it possible and it was great for Alby Pattison, who as tournament sponsor with Hart Biologicals, saw his team play with such passion and pride.”

Green was joined in the winning squad by Horden & Peterlee comrade McCallum, while West supplied Jackson-Smith, Maddison and Youll, with Shane Jeffrey from Boys Brigade Old Boys and Foreman, Aaron Jeffrey, Patrick O’Callaghan, Pelser and Whitehead from Rovers.

Seymour Civil Engineering completes work on the Skelton Townscape Project

 

An initiative being undertaken by Seymour Civil Engineering in collaboration with Skelton Villages Civic Pride, Redcar & Cleveland Council and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund has been completed in Skelton.

The project hopes to restore the town’s historical heritage and looks to improve already developed areas such as public roads and pathways, as well as public spaces in order to attract more visitors to the village.

The first visible works by Seymour began on the 30th May and included new landscaping at either end of the High Street and the area known as ‘The Hills’ as well as a mosaic to commemorate Skelton’s history being developed by local artists and school students. Part of the project will also involve the investigation of the site of a medieval settlement on the edge of Skelton.

Karl Brennan, Bid Coordinator at Seymour Civil Engineering, said: “As a local civil engineering contractor, we are delighted to be part of this scheme.

“Works were carried out to a timescale and within budget. We have engaged with local stakeholders to ensure that disruption is minimal and we will leave a legacy behind that will positively impact the local community.

“We always take a keen interest in promoting public work within towns and cities. By creating functional, aesthetic public spaces we provide a benefit to the local business and visitor economies which also contributes to the wider Tees Valley Powerhouse plan”

Councillor Bob Norton, Cabinet member for Economic Growth at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This is a really exciting project and I would like to pay tribute to the work that Skelton Villages Civic Pride, Seymour Civil Engineering, Skelton Parish Council, the Skelton and Gilling Estate, and the Heritage Lottery Fund have undertaken.

“Thanks also go to local councillors and our team at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have done an excellent job to make this vision a reality.

“Their hard work has paid off and I hope this have a positive impact on the economy of Skelton for years to come.”

The next phase of the project is due to begin in early 2018. Consultations for works to buildings began in December 2016 with the tender process beginning in the autumn. The works include shop front replacements to 32 retail properties in the town and one residential property with window replacements being undertaken for all.

VIDEO: Yorwaste’s new £3m waste transfer station

 

A new £3 million waste transfer station has been open officially opened on the outskirts of York.

The waste transfer station, built by Yorwaste at its Harewood Whin facility, will handle 75,000 tonnes of waste each year. The waste will come from households in the City of York and Selby District Council areas, as well as Yorwaste’s commercial customers in North Yorkshire.

Waste that comes into the station will be sorted and bulked by Yorwaste before being taken for final disposal at the new Allerton Waste Recovery Park (AWRP), which is due to start accepting waste in August. The waste at AWRP, which is just off the A1 at Knaresborough, will be recovered into renewable energy.

Speaking at the official opening of the transfer station, Steve Barker, Managing Director of Yorwaste, said: “With the opening of Allerton Waste Recovery Park, it was essential to have a facility nearby where waste can be sorted and bulked before it goes for final disposal and recovery.

“We are therefore delighted that the waste transfer station, which is the best of its kind in the country, has opened on schedule, just as Allerton Park becomes fully operational.

“It means our local authority and commercial customers will have access to a state-of-the-art facility which, because of its location, will provide greater value for money and help them meet their environmental responsibilities through landfill diversion and more recycling and recovery of waste.

“This facility could not have been built without the support of so many people and organisations and these include the local community, City of York Council, our architects Vincent and Gorbing and contractor Seymour Civil Engineering. We would like to thank everyone for this support.

“These are very exciting times for Yorwaste as we continue to expand and cement our position as the leading waste management company in North Yorkshire.

“The completion of the waste transfer station takes our investment to over £10 million in the last few months, after we also took over management of North Yorkshire County Council’s household waste recycling centres and acquired Todd Waste Management.”

Kevin Byrne, Managing Director of Seymour Civil Engineering, said: “The project had several constraints, including time and working alongside an operational facility, but it has been very successful and we look forward to the opportunity to work together with Yorwaste again in the future.”

The Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Barbara Boyce, pressed the button which opened the doors to the transfer station, enabling the first waste collection vehicle to enter to deposit waste.

Councillor Boyce said: “I have followed the building of this facility with interest and it’s fantastic to be part of something which will help to recycle and recover even more of York’s waste.”

Ella Foord speaks to the Student Engineer about learning on the job

Ella Foord

 

Seymour Civil Engineering is a Hartlepool-based contractor taking a pro-active approach to developing a workforce with the skills it needs to take the business forward.

The company has spoken out about the importance of working closely with degree students to combat a growing shortage of skilled workers, one of whom is being helped into her career with a mixture of classroom and on-the-job training.

She is 27-year-old Ella Foord, a Trainee Estimator who is undertaking a Quantity Surveying (Bsc) degree at Northumbria University, entering her third year in September 2017.

As The Student Engineer has found out, Ella’s many experiences include a year studying counselling, keeping the cows fed on the farm where she lives, and building the A19!

What position did you apply for when you joined Seymour aged 24?
Originally I applied for a trainee quantity surveyor position however in February 2014 the company gave me a call to invite me for another interview for a trainer estimator. I was then offered this position in June 2014.

Can you tell The Student Engineer what you were up to before you joined Seymour?
My previous position before coming to Seymour was a buyer for Eldwick Ltd, a small groundworks company based in the North Yorkshire Moors. This was my first experience within the construction industry, and I am still grateful of Eldwick Ltd for introducing me into the profession. The buyer role mainly focused on obtaining the materials and subcontractors for around seven housing sites and also a few commercial sites. I started in this position when I was 21, therefore had three years’ experience within the buying role. Within this time I learnt essential skills such as taking off drawings and gaining knowledge on what materials are needed for certain operations which helped me within the estimating role.

Three years on, what’s been the best project you’ve worked on and why?
The best project I have worked on has been the A19 improvement at the Silverlink junction in Newcastle. It was a challenging project with it being based around a very busy road junction, therefore I had to think of all the implications of each operation on the traffic surrounding the works. Part of the drainage package was looking at shaft sinking and tunnelling underneath the existing road for the new drainage, which I found fascinating as it was such a complex process.

How is your time divided between Seymour and uni? Do you find that this is a good ratio and in what ways are your university experiences helping you at Seymour?
I work at Seymour four days a week and the other day I attend university during the term times. Then I work full time when university is between terms. I do find it hard to fit in both work and university together over the winter time as I also live on a farm. Winter is our busiest time of year on the farm as the cows are confined to the sheds, therefore need to be fed up, cleaned out and given help with birthing their calves! So I do feel like I am juggling my work/life balance when it comes to winter time, but I’m sure it will all be worth the effort once I have graduated. I believe that the experiences from Seymour have helped me at university rather than the other way round, I can apply my knowledge I have gained from working at Seymour to help with my university work and provide real-life insight.

Seymour is funding your uni education. What criteria do you have to fulfil in order for them to do that
I have to pass all modules each year for Seymour to provide my fees for the next year. If I leave Seymour within two years of finishing my university course I have to pay back my fees to the company.

Have you found gender to be an issue in the workplace?
I don’t think my gender has ever been an issue as such, but I do feel that being a woman within the trade, you feel as though you have more to prove than men. Some people may still have a prejudice of women working within the engineering sector and you can sometimes feel belittled, but I would say these experiences are quite rare in this day and age. I recently attended the G4C awards where I was shortlisted for Higher Education Student of the Year in the North East. This was a massive achievement for me and to be nominated in a category where 3 out of 4 of those shortlisted were female really shows a shift in the industry. On top of this, I also noticed an even spread of both male and female individuals shortlisted in each category.

What advice would you give young people, particularly young women, looking to join your profession?
I believe it’s really difficult to know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life at such a young age. When I was 18, I studied counselling at university for a year before I realised it was completely the wrong profession for me. My advice would be to try different lines of work before settling with the one you truly enjoy, and I would highly recommend a profession in the construction industry. Going to college to do a HNC in construction would help young people to decide which area within construction they are most interested in, and once they have decided which area I would recommend applying for an apprenticeship within a construction company. Apprenticeships are brilliant for gaining experience while learning alongside a job, in this sector companies look at experience more than education in this sector therefore any experience gives an advantage over other candidates.

 Finally, where do you see yourself in 5-years time?
I will have graduated and I expect to still be working within the estimating department for Seymour.

Originally featured in the Student Engineer 24th July 2017.

New £3 million waste transfer station for Yorwaste

Seymour’s Stuart Dickens at Andy Pennick and the opening of the Yorwaste facility

A new £3 million waste transfer station has been open officially opened on the outskirts of York.

The waste transfer station, built by Seymour Civil Engineering for Yorwaste at its Harewood Whin facility, will handle 75,000 tonnes of waste each year. The waste will come from households in the City of York and Selby District Council areas, as well as Yorwaste’s commercial customers in North Yorkshire.

Kevin Byrne, Managing Director of Seymour Civil Engineering, said: “The project had several constraints, including time and working alongside an operational facility, but it has been very successful and we look forward to the opportunity to work together with Yorwaste again in the future.”

To read more about the Yorwaste waste transfer station click here.

First turf cut on North Northallerton project

Representatives of Seymour Civil Engineering, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon Homes.

The first turf on Hambleton’s largest ever housing development has been cut.

Leading figures involved on the North Northallerton project got together this week in recognition of the importance of the scheme.

It will see more than 1000 new homes constructed alongside a primary school, a sports village and commercial buildings – as well as a link road and bridge over the railway between Darlington and Stokesley roads.

Construction by homebuilders Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey on the initial 300 homes will start soon – while work on the road is already underway.  The road will add capacity to the local road network and provide an alternative route avoiding the Low Gates level crossing.

The first phase of road construction will be carried out by Seymour Civil Engineering.

The scheme has been in development for several years and brings together a consortium of developers and funders. As well as the housebuilders they include Hambleton District Council, North Yorkshire County Council, and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership – which has provided a £6m grant to match fund the developer’s construction of the road and bridge.

Councillor Mark Robson, Leader of Hambleton District Council said it was the biggest housing development in the authority’s history. “This scheme will deliver big economic and community benefits for Northallerton and the district as a whole,” he said.  “We will initially see 300 homes built along with the road which we hope will also relieve pressure on the town centre.”

And David A. Kerfoot, MBE, Deputy Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “Strategically this scheme is one of our most important investments and vital for our objective to double the number of homes built across York, North Yorkshire and East Riding.  In particular this £6m investment has been put towards the link road through the development which kick started the scheme.”

David Bowe, North Yorkshire County Council’s Corporate Director for Business and Environmental Services, said: “This development supports the County Council’s ambitious growth plan for North Yorkshire, seeing the construction of a mixed use development of housing, leisure, retail and office, including the link road, that will facilitate business growth and economic development in a prominent location in this important market town.

“The first phase of the development is to build new roundabouts at each end of the new link road, one on the A167 Darlington Road and one on A684 Stokesley Road. This will take about 20 weeks. As part of the new road network, ultimately Northallerton Road will close to through traffic at Stone Cross and Brompton traffic will use the new roundabout and link road into the village.”

 

Press release by Hambleton District Council April 2017

 

Brunton Park flood alleviation

Ryan Browell, Site Manager of Brunton Park flood alleviation scheme.

Originally written for the Concrete Society Magazine, January 2017: 

RYAN Browell, site manager for Seymour Civil Engineering, talks about the complexities of the Brunton Park Project, which saw the North East-based specialist tasked with sewer network improvements as well as re-routing a section of river for flood alleviation on behalf of Northumbrian Water.

“This was arguably one of the most complex projects the business has carried out, and was unique in terms of the environment we had to work in, having to negotiate around people’s homes in a high density residential area, including gardens, a river and even a golf course.

“In total, approximately 1,000 properties were directly affected by the construction works taking place over the duration of the project.

“As with any project, our aim is to get it right first time. But there was added pressure because of the environment we were operating in. We actually had to dig out people’s gardens, and at one stage had to pump water through their garages.

“Before we got to that stage, Seymour Civil Engineering had to install a 16m bridge, 4m wide, which was robust enough to withstand nearly 6,000 wagon movements. The bridge was transported in two longitudinal sections each weighing 12 tonnes. A 150 tonne crane was used for the installation.

“The project was designed to significantly reduce the risk of flooding to more than 100 properties in a housing estate on the outskirts of Newcastle Upon Tyne. It was an innovative and creative solution to a problem and, at the same time offered vital protection for the long-term.

“The project ran in two stages, from October 2014 to September 2015 and then from March 2016 to October 2016.

“To implement the sewer network improvement, we had to install 2km of Gravity Pipework, ranging from 225mm diameter plastic pipes to 900mm diameter concrete pipes. The vast majority were installed within the public highway by means of open cut.

“We used Building Information Models (BIMS) and GPS Modelling technologies throughout the project, with the 3D digital representation on board the excavator or bulldozer enhancing grading accuracy, which in turn reduced the need for profile rails and batter rails and reduced overall engineering time.

“On top of that, the process eliminates the Health & Safety risks associated with working in the close vicinity of moving plant.

“To give an idea of the size of the work, a 7.5m diameter 16m deep Storage Shaft with segmental cover slab and pump return was installed, as well as 120m of 1.8 diameter Storage Tunnel by pipejack.

“This section of the work gives a good example of Reactive Contractor Initiated Design Changes. The initial planned method was by means of underpinning a 9m diameter shaft, but at a depth of between 3 and 4m we encountered running sand which ultimately prevented us from going any further.

“Within 24 hours, there was a revised design proposal signed off which resulted in workers jacking down a 7.5m diameter shaft within the previously installed 9m diameter. While this was a positive, the negative side resulted a deeper than planned tank to retain the storage design.

“For the implementation of the flood defence works, we had to construct 450m of earth flood embankment, 300m of RC with a working area in a corridor of just 5m, and brick faced flood defence wall which was all constructed within private residential gardens.

“We used a C35 standard mix to build the flood defence wall because of its compressive strength.

“From ground level we dug down a metre, then went further to add a toe-in so the water wouldn’t seep through when we hit clay.

“Concrete formed the basis on the centre core of that wall, with brick cladding cosmetically added. In other projects a brick construction may have been suitable, but in this one concrete was vital to make it fit for purpose – a durable, credible construction that acts as a flood defence barrier.

“The project involved upsizing more than two kilometres of new surface water and foul sewers, and we had to use many methods including open cut, microtunnelling, pipejack tunnelling and caisson shaft construction with submersible sewage pumps and pipework installed with the storage shaft to return storm flows to the network.

“In addition, 400m of new channel was required to re-route the section of Ouseburn river, with an excavation of 7,000m3 of earth to create 5,500m3 of additional surface water.

“A total of 15,000 tonnes of construction material – mainly clay, concrete and aggregates required for forming the Bund, Diversion Channel and Embankment “Retaining Structures – were imported and 45,000 tonnes were exported, all of which were utilised as engineering fill to cap off a local landfill site.

“With concrete, you are working with a live product. There is no room for error at all when using concrete and tarmac. It’s like working on an egg timer as soon as the concrete leaves the plant to the site, everything has to fall into place.

“Our team hasn’t learned about concrete overnight. The practicalities of placing it successfully are varied.

“We are a great respecter of concrete. It has never let us down, but equally we have a skilled team who know how to use the product.

“People outside the sector may think ‘it’s only concrete’, but it is vital we keep abreast of developments and embrace any new technology surrounding concrete.”