A COMPANY decided to thank the community during a £9m upgrade to sewage treatment works in Teesdale.

Northumbrian Water completed the work to future-proof the facilities in Cockfield, Ramshaw and Butterknowle, delivering improvements to the water quality in the River Gaunless to ensure it meets future regulatory requirements.

During the course of the 14-month project, the water team asked customers in the area what could be done to leave a lasting benefit in the area for both the community and for visitors, working with supply partners, including Interserve Construction, which carried out the upgrades on its behalf.

The upgrades worked to supply Butterknowle Sea Scouts with a range of equipment, including tents, sleeping bags, camping stoves and compasses.

They supplied drone footage of the local landscape to support the marketing of the area by the Gaunless Valley History Trust and provided new information boards to the trustees of Cockfield Fell.

The company and its partners also worked to clean up the cenotaph at Butterknowle and engaged landscapers to carry out clean-up work on the sports field at Ramshaw Primary School.

Northumbrian Water project manager Dean Thompson said: "We have spent more than a year working in this part of Teesdale, carrying out important work that will ensure the area's wastewater is treated to the highest possible standards, protecting the local environment, particularly the River Gaunless.

"The local community have been brilliant, and we wanted to give something back, because we feel it's important to support our local communities.

“It's been fantastic that when we have talked with people and sent out requests for ideas, we've had such a variety of opportunities arise for us to support local groups in so many different ways.

"Our supply chain have also been fantastic in helping us to do all of these things, and I'd like to thank Interserve Construction, Aquazone, De Nora, Meldrums, FSE, Turner & Townsend, Huber and Peak42, for their support."

Jenny Hodgson, group scout leader, said: "We'd like to thank Northumbrian Water and its contractors for donating so much camping and expedition equipment to us.

“Everyone connected with the group is amazed by their generosity. The Beavers, Cubs and Scouts can't wait to go on an adventure with it.

“It was good to hear Northumbrian Water is improving the quality of the water in the River Gaunless as we have many activities in and around the river.

“We like to teach the children to appreciate the area in which we live and to show them how much fun you can have outside in the fresh air and playing in the river is always a favourite activity."