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10-year-old oversees plans to tunnel under County Durham river

A ten-year-old girl from County Durham with a passion for construction carried out her own special site visit ahead of Northumbrian Water’s plan to tunnel under the River Tees.


Penny Green with 'Penelope', the tunnel boring machine she named after herself

Penny Green, 10, oversaw the site where Northumbrian Water plans to install a tunnel beneath the river near Barnard Castle.


Using a boring machine to facilitate laying the £155m of tunnels, the plan is set to connect Lartington Water Treatment Works with 200,000 customers across the southern region of the North East.


Penny, from Cotherstone, won a competition to name the machine, run by Farrans Construction, the water company’s partner in the project’s delivery.


She chose the name Penelope – after herself, because “the machine is strong, like her". She was joined by her family – parents Richard and Kelly, and siblings Toby, Josie and Harry - at the eastern shaft, to see the machine and meet the team.


Phase 1 of the plan intends to connect the Lartington water system with Whorley Hill and Shildon, and will be followed by phase 2, extending the pipeline from Whorley Hill to Long Newton, ensuring connectivity to the existing network that services large parts of Teesside.


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