Sidmouth flood alleviation scheme shortlisted for civil engineering award

Tiered seating in Sidmouth's amphitheatre

Another view of the amphitheatre. showing the tiered seating - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth’s flood alleviation scheme at The Knowle – incorporating an amphitheatre – has been shortlisted for a regional award. 

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South West has selected 10 projects and is asking people across the region to vote for the one they think has had the most positive impact on people’s lives. 

The Sidmouth flood alleviation scheme protects 64 homes and businesses by diverting floodwater from Station Road into the parkland at Knowle, where it ends up in underground storage tanks. 

As part of the civil engineering work, an amphitheatre was built above the underground tanks, with a central ‘stage’ and tiered rows rising around it, that can be used for outdoor events and performances. 

The centre of Sidmouth's amphitheatre, with decorated stonework

Detail of the decorative centrepiece of the amphitheatre - Credit: Archant

The amphitheatre features pathways, steps and decorative inlaid slates and stones. As part of the development 11 new trees were planted in the parkland, along with wildflower areas. 

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 amphitheatre was officially opened in October last year. 

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The chair of the ICE panel which drew up the 10 contenders for the People’s Award, Sally Walters, Operations Director, Stantec, said: “The shortlist demonstrates the creativity and commitment of civil engineers across the South West, who work tirelessly to improve the lives of local communities. The finalists represent an exciting range of schemes, highlighting the many different ways in which civil engineering benefits the region, its people, economy and environment.” 

Others on the shortlist include the widening of the Mowhay footbridge across the A38, a fish pass in the river at Buckfast Abbey, a sensitively designed link road in Bridgwater, a canal bridge in Gloucestershire and the reopening of the Dartmoor railway line. 

People have until 5pm on July 29 to cast their votes at and the winner will be announced at a ceremony in September, hosted by TV personality and engineer Rob Bell, along with the winners of 10 other project categories and the Apprentice and Graduate of the Year Awards.