21 December 2002
Working on some of the region’s major regeneration schemes is not only helping to lay firmer foundations for the area’s economic success, but for engineering and environmental consultants, White Young Green, it has led to dramatic growth for the firm during 2002.
From its two northeastern offices in Jesmond and Stockton, WYG is working on a diverse range of urban regeneration projects on behalf of developers, local authorities and in particular, English Partnerships. A major project for English Partnerships this year has been the completion of Phase One of Middlehaven Docks at Middlesbrough – a £36m regeneration scheme comprising 129 acres of wasteland stretching along the south bank of the Tees.
The land was contaminated due to 160 years of intensive dockside activity, but once the silt had been removed from the dock floor and the decontamination process completed, the resulting material was used as structural fill to create four further acres of development land.
English Partnership’s project management executive, John Navaratnam, was delighted with the level of innovation on the scheme which was in line with the Government’s thinking on sustainability and the need to look at alternative sources within the construction industry.
WYG has also been busy at Gateshead’s Baltic Business Park this year on behalf of developer Terrace Hill. The 52-acre scheme has a development value of £250m and a lifespan of ten years.
Here, the firm’s multi-disciplinary expertise, in particular its knowledge of contaminated land issues and pollution control, earned it the appointment to carry out site investigation works, a detailed traffic study, environmental impact and mains utility services assessments. This will lead on to highways, drainage and services infrastructure design as well as the civil and structural aspects of the proposed buildings in the scheme.
Philip Leech, director of Terrace Hill, began his relationship with the firm at Teesdale Businesss Park at Stockton, another major regeneration site, where Terrace Hill is lead developer. This earlier experience led to the firm’s appointment in Gateshead. He says: “The Baltic site requires a range of engineering skills and the attraction for a developer in working with White Young Green is in having one point of contact from which to access a wide range of consultancy services as well as state of the art modelling software to ensure we create the most efficient building design.”
Paul Ellyatt, director for WYG in the region, is very confident about the firm’s position as one of the top engineering consultancies in the north and its role at the forefront of the region’s regeneration activity. He says:
“The investment we have made in a wide skills base is really paying off. It’s the reason why we can take on some of these massive schemes. We have all the disciplines needed for this type of work in house.
“The Government’s agenda for brownfield development continues to provide many opportunities for us - new European legislation is beginning to tighten around many aspects of environmental conservation and I am expecting this part of the business to develop further in the future.”
The year ahead sees more major regeneration projects on the horizon for WYG at Weetslade Colliery for One NorthEast and at Northbank, where English Partnership’s next regeneration scheme on the Tees is really starting to gain momentum. This is a five-year, £16m scheme and WYG has been appointed project manager for Phases One and Three. The scheme involves reclamation works, new highways and the creation of an iconic, 130 meter span footbridge linking the north and south banks of the River Tees together with a riverside walkway.