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Dragons Den Water Hub event comes to Follingsby Max
Highgrove together with The Water Hub, a collaborative initiative between Durham University, Durham County Council, the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water recently hosted a Dragon’s Den style ‘pitching event’ on the 26th February for local businesses to pitch their products and services and innovative technologies that could be incorporate into the development.

The event featured a series of short pitches by a select number of businesses cantered around the following four focus areas looking for novel technologies that can be applied at scale to:

  1. Improve hard-standing water management
  2. Reduce water-related risk (e.g. leakage, bursts, supply disruptions, flooding)
  3. Reduce or prevent pollution incidents (e.g. from spills, leaks, waste)
  4. Improve building-level water efficiency (e.g. to reduce water bills)
  5. Encourage water re-use.

The event which was held onsite within the Follingsby development presented a real opportunity to give both local and national businesses opportunities to be involved with and part of this exciting new development.

Follingsby MAX is situated just three miles from the A1(M). Highgrove are looking for ideas and solutions to effectively manage water at the site. The site will accommodate a regional or national distribution centre, and planning consents have been agreed for up to 2.5 million ft2.

It includes a 30-acre green infrastructure zone where over a kilometre of river was naturalised using specialist restoration techniques. This GI zone is designed to manage run off from site and provide an ecologically sound habitat for protected species. Directly adjacent to this, will be 62 acres of hard-standing, 2-3 warehouses with ~1000 employees, and a fleet of HGVs and delivery vehicles.

The risk of leaks and flooding (within the building), pollution incidents (into the river and GI zone), and surface water run-off (into the sewer network) must be managed to avoid penalty.

The panel included representatives from Highgrove Group, BWB Consulting, GMI Construction, the Environment Agency and Gateshead Council.

Following the pitch session, Highgrove Group may choose to explore the possibility of incorporating solutions into the development.