This Challenge has now closed. For more information on the event please follow this link.

The Water Hub launched a series of exciting challenges at our annual networking event RIPPLE. We called on our network of innovators to propose solutions to The Tyne Estuary Steering Group / Environment Agency (EA) to address their challenge of “Design of our Tyne”. To see Rob Carr’s presentation from RIPPLE, download his presentation here.  The Tyne Estuary Steering group has a vision for transforming the Newcastle Quayside into a green hub connecting communities and businesses with nature. As part of this vision, the EA sought inspiration to visualise what this green space could look like.

The Challenge Holder 
The Tyne Estuary Steering Group is led by Groundwork NE and Cumbria and is made up of stakeholders including Local Authorities, Rivers and wildlife Trusts, NE1 the Business Improvement District company, Newcastle and Gateshead Initiative, The Environment Agency, Natural England and Northumbrian Water.  Read more about the TEP here. The Environment Agency is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), with responsibilities relating to the protection and enhancement of the environment to create better places for people and wildlife, and support sustainable development and one of The Water Hub’s strategic partners.

The Challenge
The Tyne Estuary Steering Group are looking for ideas on how to address their challenge of transforming the Newcastle Quayside into a green hub.  NE1’s business proposal for 2019-2024  says, “Newcastle’s Quayside and its bridges deliver iconic views that are instantly recognisable… but there is a strong desire for more to be made of this asset, including the river itself”. NE1 has taken inspiration from Copenhagen, Melbourne and New York’s ‘High Line’, in demonstrating the commercial gains of this approach and viewing this area as a 1km linear park. They hope to redevelop the Quayside to increase footfall, encourage additional businesses to invest and finally, create a more appealing physical environment that encourages diverse uses, utilising both the quay and the river. Over the next five years, NE1 will make “greening” an essential element of their projects, looking at permanent and temporary landscape interventions and multi-dimensional projects which explore how buildings, their walls and rooftops can add to the city’s biodiversity.
Building on this vision, the Tyne Estuary Partnership would like to:

1. Seek inspiration on what this green space could look like
2. Connect communities with business and nature
3. Bring to life existing drawings with a 3D visualisation*

*this is left open to interpretation and can involve which ever 3D media you choose to best represent your vision.

An award of £2000 will be made to the winning solution, which best meets each of the three criteria above. This is a competitive process. Your application will be judged solely on the information you provide in the application form and any associated attachments (which can include 3D illustrations, photographs, links to videos, immersive technologies, and/or other creative ideas which support your application).

The Water Hub will provide all applications to Rob Carr at Environment Agency after the deadline. The Tyne Estuary Partnership/ EA will be responsible for reviewing applications and providing feedback to the applicants in a timely manner.

• 21 March 2019 – Launch of challenge and call for applications
• 10 May 2019 – Deadline for applications to The Water Hub.
• 13 May – The Water Hub will collate all applications and send to The TEP / EA.
• 14 May – 3 June – The TEP/ EA will review all applications.
• 7 June – The TEP / EA will provide feedback to The Water Hub on which applicant(s) has/have been successful in the review.
• 14 June – The Water Hub will pass on this feedback to the applicants.
• 30 June – The TEP/ EA will award funding to successful applicant(s) by end of June.

Challenge Outcome

After impressing at the application stage, Fairhurst and SEL Environmental Ltd were invited to present their 3D visualisations for a greener Tyne Estuary at the Environment Agency’s Tyneside House.

Reflecting on the day, Lisa Stephenson, Business Development Manager at Groundwork NE and Cumbria said, ‘Both presentations were really interesting and very different in their approach. They can definately bring new things to the Partnership. Fairhurst were really strong on the policy, masterplanning and the overview side of the project, and SEL Environmental brought new technologies that we would have never considered before. These are exciting times ahead with the potential of working with both companies moving forward.’ 

Stephen Patterson, Director of Communications at Newcastle NE1 BID said, ‘Both shortlisted submissions were absolutley fantastic showing the scale of opportunities but also the challenges presented. Both teams brought ideas that we had not encountered before’.