To read about how this opportunity unfolded, download this flyer here.

The Water Hub has an exciting opportunity for businesses to pitch their products and services to the developer of “Follingsby MAX”.  We are looking to showcase some of your brilliant solutions in a one-day closed pitching session.  This is a competitive process. We will shortlist up to eight applicants to give a closed pitch to a panel of stakeholders in February 2019.  If you have a solution to one of the challenges below, please download our Application Form here and send to [email protected].

The Site
Follingsby MAX is just three miles from the A1(M).  The developers, Highgrove Group, 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.  The site 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.  Masterplan options, virtual tours, and a live camera feed can be viewed online.  The risk of leaks and flooding (within the building), pollution incidents (into the river and GI zone), and surface water run-off must be managed to avoid penalty.

The Challenge
The Water Hub is 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.

This call is for ‘at market’ products and services only.  Applicants must be able to provide evidence of testing and approved documentation of their products.  We cannot accept ‘proof-of-concept’ ideas in this instance.

Following the pitch session, Highgrove Group may choose to explore the possibility of incorporating solutions into the development.  This is a competitive process and Highgrove Group are not obliged to take anything forward.


  • 17 December 2018 – Call for applications
  • 11 February 2019 – Deadline for applications.  Applicants will be notified if they’ve been: (1) shortlisted to pitch their idea, (2) recommended for further support from The Water Hub to develop their idea, or (3) unsuccessful at this time
  • 26 February 2019 – Shortlisted candidates to present ideas at Follingsby MAX (NE10 8YA).  The panel will include representatives from Highgrove Group, BWB Consulting, GMI Construction, The Environment Agency and Gateshead Council.  For more information, get in touch at [email protected]

After reviewing lots of fantastic applications, The Water Hub put forward EIGHT businesses to pitch to the panel of the site’s stakeholders. They pitched a range of solutions to improve hard-standing water management, reduce water related risk, prevent pollution incidents and improve water efficiency.

Reflecting on the day, Dave Price, Operations Director at Highgrove, said:
“We’ve seen some really good, and very innovative products which I think can work on this scheme, but also on other sites that we’re working on. I think it will
be a big benefit to us, as developers, in the future.

The Water Hub provided feedback from the panel to each of the businesses who pitched. The developer is following up with further discussions with four of the eight businesses. To read more about the day, download this flyer here.

*Please note that data submitted in the supporting application form will be reviewed by The Water Hub, and will be handled and stored in accordance with GDPR guidelines.  The applicant can withdraw their application and/or ask for their information to be updated or removed at any point.