A Frodsham-based company has won a civil engineering award from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

GHD Livigunn was the principal designer in a water quality improvement project carried out in Ulverston, Cumbria in partnership with Warrington-based United Utilities and Wigan-based KMI+.

The project, which involved building a 1,425-cubic-metre detention tank and combined sewer overflow on a congested and contaminated allotment site, carried off the Community Award at the ICE North West Annual Awards dinner at the Halston Hotel in Carlisle.

ICE said the winners had taken the award for the way they had worked with the local community to minimise the impact of the work, as well as “putting something back into the community.”

As well as tackling sewage spills, protecting local allotments and waterways, the project put £7,000 into a fund for local community groups that had been affected by the construction work. The fund has helped pay for a variety of things from renovating changing rooms for a local football team to providing new chairs for a local primary school, as well as making a contribution to the restoration of a local war memorial.

Director of GHD Livigunn Stewart Tennant said: “It’s great for all the team to get the recognition they deserve for their efforts. We work very hard to do the best possible job when delivering these difficult projects and it is fantastic that this has been acknowledged by the Institution of Civil Engineers with this award. We had to overcome some major technical challenges at Ulverston and to do so in a manner that is both environmentally friendly and engages with the community is a great achievement which we are very proud of and that we do not take for granted.”

The project site

North West regional director of the Institution of Civil Engineers Darrell Matthews said today: “The award reflects that care that the winners took while carrying out essential work to improve the local sewage system and protect the environment. They used modern techniques such as odour and vibration monitoring and also worked to keep local people well informed throughout the project. It’s also to their credit that the company also put something back into the community, with funding for a variety of things from defibrillators for the local First Responders, to extra training for members of Ulverston Inshore Rescue.”

Capital programme manager at United Utilities Kevin Moody said: “The whole team is delighted with this recognition. Creating an underground storage tank in a confined area was certainly challenging, but by working closely with the local community, we managed to minimise disruption.

“The tank eases pressure on the local sewer system during heavy rain, reducing spills and helping to ensure cleaner rivers and a cleaner coastline. Our thanks to local people for all their patience during the project.”

Darrell Matthews of ICE North West concluded: “We hold these awards every year to showcase the best of civil engineering from around North West England and the Isle of Man, and it’s great to see such a strong showing from Cumbria. Between them, the Cumbrian projects nominated for this year’s awards show how civil engineering can save lives, improve road safety, support economic regeneration, serve local communities and help protect the natural environment.”

The sponsors of this year’s ICE North West Annual Awards are Story Contracting, GHD Livigunn, Aecom, Kier and Balfour Beatty.