This challenge has now closed. To find out how it unfolded follow this link.

The Water Hub has an exciting opportunity for businesses to pitch their products and services for the proposed “Crimdon Coastal Hub” development. This project seeks to create a visitor and events hub in the form of café, public toilets, changing rooms, and interpretive space at Crimdon (OS Map reference NZ482373).

The Water Hub has identified five key areas to deliver innovation in water management and data insight. Showcase your brilliant solutions in a one-day closed pitching session to Durham County Council. This is a competitive process. We will shortlist up to eight applicants to pitch to a panel of stakeholders in July 2019. If you have a solution to one of the challenges below, please  download and complete this application form and send to [email protected]

The Crimdon Coastal Hub proposal developed by the Heritage Coast Partnership hopes to create a visitor and events hub in the form of a café, public toilets, changing rooms and space for volunteers, wardens and the community to benefit over 220,000 visitors every year.

Currently there are no public facilities on site. This is a barrier to use by family groups, community groups and local schools. In recent surveys, 87% of visitors listed the lack of facilities as the key reason for not visiting more frequently and 76% looking for a café or an activities venue.

The Crimdon Coastal Hub proposal is for a single new build facility.

The Challenge
The Water Hub is looking for innovative solutions to ensure this new development is exemplary in terms of building-level efficiency and engaging the local community. This is a competitive process and Durham County Council are not obliged to take anything forward. We’re looking for products and services which:

1. Reduce water use in the café, public toilets and changing rooms,
2. Encourage rainwater harvesting for non-potable applications,
3. Promote biodiversity through green spaces to ensure the Hub fits with the transformed Heritage Coast and areas of conservation interest,
4. Reduce waste,
5. Connect communities, by exploring how smart tech could improve monitoring and engagement.

Applicants must be able to provide evidence of testing and approved documentation of their products and services. Prototypes may be considered for future opportunities, once testing has been carried out and documentation has been approved. Data submitted in the supporting application form will be reviewed by The Water Hub, and will be handled and stored in accordance with GDPR guidelines. The applicant can withdraw their application and/or ask for their information to be updated or removed at any point.


• 27th May 2019 – Call for applications launched
• 14th June 2019, 5pm – Deadline for applications
• 20th June 2019 – Notification of shortlisting
• 4th July 2019 – Shortlisted candidates to pitch ideas at Spectrum Business Park (SR7 7TT)
• Feedback by 12th July 2019.

Pitching Day Outcome

We hosted a one-day pitching session for the proposed Crimdon Coastal Hub. Nine businesses pitched products and services for the proposed new development, which seeks to create a visitor and events hub in the form of café, public toilets, changing rooms, and interpretive space at Crimdon.

A panel, including architects and project managers from Durham County Council, Durham’s Heritage Coast Officer and the Scientific Director of The Water Hub, heard from a wide range of solution providers, showcasing ways to reduce water use, promote biodiversity and connect communities.

Reflecting on the day, Niall Benson, Heritage Coast Officer at DCC said, “It is extremely exciting to be in the position where we are able to explore the cutting edge of water use innovation. As the final designs for the scheme are developed we will be including the solutions that best fit our situation. Thank you to all who presented, and to The Water Hub for enabling the opportunity”

Louise Bracken added, “It was an engaging event with quality pitches and relevant solutions. We’ll work with SMEs to try to get as many included in the development as possible.”