'Marvellous Mining Molly’ to tunnel under the streets of Stroud as part of £25m Severn Trent project 

Thursday 18 May 2023

Meet Molly and Molly! Year six pupil Molly Forsyth has won a Severn Trent competition to name the latest machine that will be tunnelling under the streets of Stroud as part of a £25m project to upgrade the sewer network in the town.

‘Marvellous Mining Molly’ was lowered into the ground just off the Eberly Bypass in the Ryeford area of Stroud on Thursday and will be used to install concrete pipes that will form part of a new sewer network.

Children at Bisley Blue Coat School entered a Severn Trent competition to name the Tunnel Boring Machine with Molly getting to see it for herself before it started its journey.

‘Marvellous Mining Molly’ will tunnel underneath the Eberly Bypass laying 60 meters of concrete pipe until it reaches the reception shaft. Fully assembled, this state-of-the-art machine is four meters long, and when operating, it will be using 150-180kws of power. 

Molly said: "Our teacher Mr Hall set us a competition to design and name a digging machine. I was so surprised and excited to win. It was great seeing the machine up close with my name on before it went underground."

The £25million project is seeing the water and waste company install over two miles of new pipes in total, upgrading many of the old Victorian sewers in the town.

The investment in Stroud will go a long way towards protecting the River Frome and other local watercourses, with the community set to benefit from increased capacity and state-of-the-art technology that will protect homes in the area and completely transform the waste network that will last for generations.

The project will also contribute towards the Cotswolds Canal Restoration Project by removing the sewer that runs through the canal in Wallbridge, meaning boats will be able to navigate along the full route and local residents can walk or cycle along the canal in its full glory again. Severn Trent has also committed to planting double the number of trees that have been felled during the works.

Arezoo Ilbeygi, Delivery Business Lead at Severn Trent said: “By using equipment like Molly, we’re able to significantly reduce the disruption caused to customers by tunnelling underground. It also allows us to complete our work as quickly and as safely as possible. 

“We’re really excited about the progress we’re making with our project in Stroud, and we’re looking forward to seeing Molly in action over the next few weeks. Our project in Stroud is one of the biggest investments we’re making over the coming years, and it will bring huge benefits to the area, as well as the environment.”

Jonathan Preston, Headteacher at Bisley Blue Coat School, said: “Molly is an intelligent and creative pupil and we’re all very proud that her name has been chosen. The children loved the competition so we are very grateful to Severn Trent for sending this opportunity through to us.”

Severn Trent has teamed up with Galliford Try as contract partners for this project, with the construction company taking the lead on project design and build. To find out more about this project, and keep up to date with its progress, please visit our website.