Sidmouth’s flood mitigation scheme at The Knowle – incorporating an amphitheater – has won two regional awards for excellence in civil engineering.
The project won the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South West Judges’ Special Award, and also proved to be a crowd favourite, winning the People’s Choice Award.
The judges said they were impressed with the “smart design of the flood scheme, combining floodwater storage and sustainable drainage with a beautiful outdoor amphitheater”.
They visited all of the shortlisted projects over two days in June to assess which projects would receive top honors.
The People’s Choice Award was based on an online vote taken in July.
Sidmouth’s flood mitigation program protects 64 homes and businesses by diverting floodwater from Station Road to Knowle Park, where it ends up in underground storage tanks.
As part of the civil works, an amphitheater has been constructed above the underground reservoirs, with a central ‘stage’ and stepped rows rising around it, which can be used for events and performances outside.
The project was carried out by South West Highways in partnership with Devon County Council, East Devon District Council which owns the land, Sidmouth Town Council, engineering consultancy Jacobs and the Environment Agency.
The big winner of the ICE regional awards was the £40.5 scheme to restore regular rail services on the Dartmoor line between Okehampton and Exeter. It also won the Community Award in recognition of the way the project team engaged with local residents and the benefits the rail service brings to Dartmoor towns and villages.
The awards were presented at a ceremony in Bristol on Tuesday 22 November before an audience of 300 people from the region’s engineering and infrastructure sector. Ten projects in the region have been shortlisted, with the aim of highlighting the many ways in which civil engineering benefits the region, its people, its economy and its environment.
All finalists have also shown their commitment to sustainability and the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
ICE South West said civil engineers are on the front lines of responding to the challenges of climate change, developing new ways to mitigate floods, overcome droughts and reduce carbon emissions in the structures they build. .