Our project team and subcontractors on the University Hospital of North Tees' new energy centre project in Stockton-on-Tees, have donated circa 20 tonnes of surplus topsoil to local community and food growing group, Down to Earth.
Down to Earth Tees Valley has been established over the past year by a passionate group of community minded people from all parts of Teesside. They grow good quality fruit and vegetables without pesticides, whilst being kind to nature in the process. One of the key goals of Down to Earth is to bring people together and the project currently has over 260 members ranging in age from seven to 77.
The group is currently working on a half-acre site located close to the university hospital and contacted the project team to see if they could offer any re-usable materials for their project. In addition to the donated topsoil, the team has also donated 200kg of screws and nails to Down to Earth so they can build more structures and plant beds on site. Some of the fresh produce grown will go to local food banks.
Tony Rogers, Senior Project Manager for the scheme, is looking to engage with Down to Earth again in the future, so they can continue the valuable community work they do and expand to start additional projects across the region. More topsoil has been proposed for donation to the site, as well as other recyclables that can be re-used and incorporated into their food growing philosophy.
David Spence, Coordinator for Down to Earth, said: “Our motto is real people, real food, real lives. Our projects are open to everyone and all are welcome. We’re building new plant beds at the moment and have future plans to build a greenhouse too. NG Bailey’s donation will really help us to achieve these and support the new sites we’re looking to set up. With the understanding of what we’re doing here, they’re really keen to recycle and reuse more from their project. They’ve committed to support us again when we’re ready for more topsoil and with tree donations to help start our new orchard.”
Chris Catterick, Operations Director for NG Bailey, said: “As Principal Contractor on this project we welcomed the opportunity to give something back to the local community and this is a great initiative. Re-using the topsoil from site on Down to Earth’s project not only helps this local group to undertake their activities and provide for the community, it improves the sustainability credentials for the energy centre site too, something NG Bailey as a company believes in greatly. We hope to donate re-usable materials again as the project progresses and help Down to Earth with their future activities.”
Steven Taylor, Assistant Director of Estates and Capital at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to be able to donate some of our topsoil to a brilliant community project which benefits the local area.”
We are currently working as principal contractor on the new £14m energy centre for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust. Work being delivered by NG Bailey on site includes building works, including the superstructure and development of the major energy centre building complex, along with two new reinforced concrete below ground walkways to link the new energy centre into the existing hospital infrastructure.