Our Values

We share a vision for the water and environment sector that benefits people, the environment and our local economy, based on our shared values of:

Sustainable living – social, economic and environmental
Our challenges centred around people, businesses and the environment – to encourage and enable the sustainable use of the planet’s natural resources.

Placed based innovation
We have live test bed facilities for businesses and researchers. These provide opportunities to gather evidence from live environments, which creates more and better products for us all to manage water wisely.

Open and inclusive collaboration
We create opportunities for businesses, researchers and government bodies to work together with the communities we serve. We co-develop solutions to water and environmental challenges.

Integrated networks for practice
We work across north east networks and with national and international partners, to deliver impact. We foster a holistic approach, enable the sharing of ideas and resources, and make working practices easier and more enjoyable for all.

Social learning and capacity building
We engage communities and end users to deliver user centred design. We raise the profile of water use and it’s role for economic prosperity and human well-being and improve the planet for future generations.

Our People

Louise Bracken

Prof Louise Bracken, Scientific Director (Durham University)

Louise is the Director of the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience at Durham University.

Her research expertise is in flooding, water management and movement of water, sediment and chemistry fluxes through catchments. She is keen to apply her scientific understandings to manage water and the environment in an integrated manner to embrace the many uses and demands on water.

Niall Benson

Niall Benson, Principal Heritage Coast Manager (Durham County Council)

In his role at DCC Niall has driven development and environmental improvement in the NE coastal area for the last two decades.

He is keen to support open innovation to continue to help the region prosper and grow the economy, continually putting people and their well-being at the heart of development.


Astrella Newman, Area Income Advisor North East (Environment Agency)

Astrella brings her expertise in finance to ensure The Water Hub runs efficiently.

George Gerring

George Gerring, Partnerships Manager (Environment Agency)

George has a background in fisheries and catchment management.

He has been instrumental in delivering the Catchment Based Approach to managing river catchments in the Environment Agency, particularly in NE England.

He is keen to champion innovation to drive change in how we manage the environment, especially by opening up working practices of environmental regulators to innovative ideas.

Chris Jones

Chris Jones, R&D Manager (Northumbriam Water)

As the R&D manager for NWL Chris actively translates research and innovation into practice.

Working with The Water Hub enables Chris to embrace innovation from SMEs and drive investment form NWL in new products and ideas. He is keen open up new opportunities to land novel solutions in Northumbrian Water.


Emma Hobbah, Project Manager (Environment Agency)

Emma brings her expertise in project management to ensure The Water Hub runs effectively.

Our Advisory Board

Chair of Advisory Board
Bridget Rosewell
Atom Bank – Chairman

Professor Louise Bracken
Durham University – Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research

Stuart Timmis
Durham County Council – Head of Planning and Assets

Fiona Morris
North East Environment Agency

Nigel Watson
Northumbrian Water – Group Director of Information Services

Jonathan Abra
Knowledge Transfer Network – Knowledge Transfer Manager

Richard Baker
North East Local Enterprise Partnership – Head of Policy and Strategy

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Durham University
European Union
Environment Agency
Northumbrian Water