Sheffield Forgemasters makes flood prevention land purchase

Published: 16 March 2023

Sheffield Forgemasters has purchased a 400m2 parcel of land adjacent to the River Don to install a high-powered pumping station to prevent flooding.

The site, located on the junction between Brightside Lane and Weedon Street, will house a water pumping station to connect Bagley Brook, which runs through a culvert beneath the company’s site into the River Don, dramatically reducing the brook’s liability to breach.

The initiative is part of the company’s site-wide recapitalisation programme, which will see significant investment in defence critical assets, and is predicted to radically reduce the burden on the Victorian culvert, which has been a point of flooding at Brightside Lane.

Steve Marshall, Manufacturing Transformation Director, said: “The new pumping station will make a vast difference to issues which have previously caused flooding at Brightside Lane, protecting our site and reducing the volume of water that can breach onto public road surfaces.

“Bagley Brook feeds into the River Don from an underground culvert through our site and during high water levels in the River the outlet of the culvert is closed, causing the culvert to surcharge and back up. The pumping station will allow the water to flow in a flood event therefore preventing the brook from breaching.”

The pumping station will be sunk into a seven-metre concrete pit, 10 metres wide and 11 long, housing three pumps capable of pumping 240,000 litres of water per minute to relieve the burden on the culvert in flood-risk conditions.

Steve added: “We have already secured planning permission to go ahead with the pumping station, which we see as a major step forward in flood-risk mitigation.

“In the 2007 flood, our site was primarily affected by the River Don bursting its banks, but in 2019, following work to heighten the river wall, floodwaters entered our site’s northern edge when Bagley Brook was too full to flow through the culvert.

“As we progress with the programme to recapitalise our operations, flood prevention has become an integral part of our plans and should remove any chance of the business being threatened by extreme flood occurrences.”

The pumping station will complement a range of other flood prevention measures at Sheffield Forgemasters, including revisions to drainage and new, higher-based buildings to house plant.

Work is expected to start on the pumping station early in 2024.