One of the students controlling the 22 tonne excavator

A group of school children from Newton-on-Trent Church of England Primary School got the chance to help with the construction of a new water treatment works during a trip last week.

Five lucky students were taken on a tour of the construction site just outside of Newton-on-Trent by Anglian Water’s construction partners Galliford Try Imtech. During the visit they got the rare opportunity to operate a 360° excavator to help with some digging, as well as identifying all the different types of machinery and looking for possible dangers.  

One of the 11 year old pupils who was nervous initially to try out the 22 tonne machine, demonstrated excellent skill and control, and left the site inspired, describing the experience as “epic”.  

Contractors on the £44million scheme have formed a strong partnership with the local school since work began and are now involving the children directly in the project. The pupils have been invited to produce artwork to help brighten up the work site, and some minor construction work has been carried out within the school grounds.  

Headteacher, Alison Bristow, said: “This has been a magnificent opportunity for the children. We’re very grateful that you have made us feel so welcome and inspired the children to find out more about the work you are doing.  

“The children were still buzzing when they came back to school. One of the boys is now talking about a career in the construction industry.”  

Alexa Fernand, Assistant Project Manager from GTM JV, said: “The new treatment works will be serving the local community for decades to come, and we want to ensure people feel engaged and involved in its construction. Visits like this and other community initiatives running alongside the project are a great way to do this.”