Seymour Civil Engineering celebrates run-away success at this years’ CECA North East Awards

Seymour Civil Engineering walked away triumphant, after winning four out of the five awards at this year’s prestigious North East Civil Engineering Contractors Association ceremony.

Award wins included Health and Safety Company of the Year and Training Company of the Year, as well as top honours for a project carried out in the company’s home town of Hartlepool.

The Project of the Year trophy was awarded to Seymour for its restoration of the Hartlepool Town Wall, in partnership with Hartlepool Council and The Environment Agency, a Grade 1 Listed structure which had been identified as having overtopping rates that posed a threat to public safety as well as a number properties being at risk from flooding.

Many properties in close proximity of the 14th century wall were at one time uninsurable. The flood defence improvement is now planned to provide up to 100 years’ protection and these properties now have the benefit of being able to gain valuable buildings insurance.

The company gained it’s second award for “going the extra mile” on the Hartlepool Town Wall project by opening up coastal frontage, improving access for pedestrians and blending seamlessly the original seawall and new setback wall. This award recognised the early contractor involvement and how Seymour went the extra mile where partnership working with Hartlepool Borough Council was key to the schemes success. The award also recognised the many community initiatives undertaken during the works including Christmas Tree planting, adapting programme of works to accommodate local community events and ‘wear it pink’ in aid of Cancer Research.

Seymour was, further awarded highly commended for its work on another flood alleviation scheme in partnership with Northumbrian Water, in the Brunton Park suburb of Newcastle, long a problem area due to surface and foul water interacting with the Ouseburn tributary of the Tyne.

Seymour completed its prizewinning sweep by winning both Health and Safety Company of the Year and Training Company of the Year.

Kevin Byrne, Managing Director of Seymour Civil Engineering, said: “It is with great satisfaction that we have been recognised as first in class in all the categories that we entered at this year’s CECA North East awards. The achievement is a culmination of years of hard work and professionalism. While we have won in each category previously we have never taken a clean sweep, full credit to the dedicated team at Seymour.”

The firm has recently started work on a £3.4 million regeneration of Church Street and Church Square in Hartlepool, working in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council, The Tees Valley Combined Authority, The Heritage Lottery Fund, and Re-form Landscape.

Seymour Civil Engineering starts work on £3.4m Church Street and Square regeneration project in Hartlepool

from left, Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, Leader of the Council, Niall Hammond, Heritage lottery Fund, Councillor Kevin Cranney, Alison Finch, Re-Form Landscape Architecture, Kevin Byrne, MD Seymour Civil Engineering, and Tess Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen

Seymour Civil Engineering has been named as the lead contractor for a Hartlepool Borough Council regeneration project which will breathe new life into Church Square and Church Street.

The regeneration project is part of plans to transform the area into a hub for creative industries. The project has been funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Hartlepool Borough Council.

The project will see Church Square given a major uplift, with the pedestrianisation of the area. A large oval event space will also be created, encircled by trees and raised seating in front of Hartlepool Art Gallery.

In Church Street, work will focus on making the street more open and widening the pavement along the south of the street to accommodate the larger numbers of people walking to and from the new Cleveland College of Art and Design campus at the bottom of the street. Engraved stones will also be set into the pavement outside key buildings, explaining their history.

Kevin Byrne, Managing Director of Seymour Civil Engineering said: “The project shows both vision and ambition. The development of the historic commercial centre into a centre

for the creative arts is refreshing. It breathes new life and energy into an area originally built be the far-sighted industrialists of the late 19th and 20th centuries

“By careful choice of materials the finished scheme will be aesthetically pleasing and durable.

“Seymour are extremely pleased to be delivering the construction phase of this scheme as it allows us to be part of the regeneration of central Hartlepool and deliver a quality product.

“These are exciting times and it’s great to be in at the start. By coincidence the current completion date falls at the 40th anniversary of the founding of Seymour Civil Engineering.”

Councillor Kevin Cranney, Chair of the Council’s Regeneration Services Ccommittee, said: “These much-needed improvements will enhance and celebrate this historic quarter of Hartlepool, creating an attractive and revitalised environment for people to enjoy and in which businesses can flourish.

As a leading North East civil engineering firm, Seymour have carried out a number of urban renewal projects in the region. Most recently the firm celebrated a landmark contract win securing civil and infrastructure work for the £18 million exhibition development at Beamish Museum.

Artist’s impression of how Church Square will look

Apprentices lead the way in inspiring the future of engineering

from left, Luke Bell, Sam Shaw and Klaudia Robinson

Apprentices from Seymour Civil Engineering, one of the North East’s leading civil contractors have spoken out about the importance of the apprenticeship route at the Bring It On North East event.

The exhibition, which was held at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, targeted the engineers of the future and saw three apprentices from Seymour, Luke Bell, Sam Shaw, and Klaudia Robinson, inspiring youngsters and helping children from schools across the North East have a go on the Institute of Civil Engineers’ Bridge.

The event falls in line with research conducted by Engineering UK, revealing that companies need to recruit 56,000 engineers a year until 2022 to meet demand and currently there is an annual shortfall of 28,000 apprentices entering into the industry.

Klaudia, said: “It’s incredibly important to raise the aspirations of young people and to inform them of the options available to them. It gives them more to aim for and the more education we can give them surrounding careers in engineering then the better it is for the industry and the region.

“It’s especially important to remove the misconceptions that engineering is strictly a male career choice. I’ve seen the girls here at the event take just as much, if not more, interest in what he had to say and they have actively got involved with helping to erect the bridge.”

Sam said: “There have been so many school kids coming up to me and asking me questions about the bridge and what sort of engineering is involved in creating a structure such as this. It’s incredible to see children from all sorts of backgrounds taking an active interest in it.

“Some have even been telling me facts they know about engineering. One pupil told me that they knew why the bridge was made using triangles for the struts as it’s one of the most structurally durable shapes. It’s great that our region’s school children are learning things like this in school.”

Seymour now has a total of 6 apprentices, including Ryan Browell Junior, who is an apprentice engineer working on the firms Newcastle projects.

Luke Bell who attended the event, was taken on by Seymour this year alongside fellow student Darren Coombs.

Luke said: “Seymour coming into my school and making the effort to connect with me was exactly what I needed to make the decision to apply for an apprenticeship, which is why it is so important that events like this are put on and backed by local companies.

“I believe that engineering firms should be getting in front of teenagers to educate them on what careers are available to them. Careers events like Bring It On are the perfect way to meet and chat with students, engagement that could make a real difference to their decisions for the future.”

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.”

Seymour pledges support to a fantastic cause

SEYMOUR CIVIL ENGINEERING has pledged its support to two men as they make it their mission to raise funds for a charity close to their hearts.

Lee Dodgson (left) and John Hewitson (right) with Seymour’s Lisa Gooding (centre)

Seymour has sponsored John Hewitson and Lee Dodgson from Hartlepool to run from Lands End to John O’Groats to support Alice House Hospice.

John, who is the Academy Manager at Hartlepool United, learnt of Seymour, through it’s sponsorship of the football club and Lee, is a former firefighter and currently working as a Production Technician.

Lee, said: “Training is going well and we are determined to make this the biggest success it can be. Everyone in Hartlepool, has been touched by the fantastic work and we want to do as much as we can to help.”

The pair will be attempting the feat of running the equivalent of two marathons a day for a total of 15 days the hope of raising £40,000 that will go towards the care of patients at the hospice.

Alice House is a charity hospice dedicated to helping people affected by terminal illnesses and their family members who are looking for support.

Lisa Gooding, from Seymour Civil Engineering, said: “We are proud to support the Alice House charity, who provide care comfort and support to people in their time of need.

“Seymour would also like to wish Lee and John the best of luck on running from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 15 days, which is an unbelievable thing to do, and for them to remember one thing – You can do it!”

To pledge your support, go to www.alicehousehospice.co.uk or contact Greg Hildreth at the Hospice on 01429 855529 or ghildreth@alicehouse.co.uk