Stoke-on-Trent MP and local councillor visit Severn Trent’s ‘Net Zero hub’

7th June 2023

Stoke-on-Trent South MP Jack Brereton has praised Severn Trent after seeing first-hand its plans to create the world’s first carbon neutral waste treatment plant.

The local MP said he was pleased with the ‘world-leading’ work of the water company during a visit to Severn Trent’s Strongford site last week, alongside the councillor for Hanford, Trentham and Newstead, Cllr Daniel Jellyman.

The pair were invited to meet with project leaders at Severn Trent to hear about the £40m scheme to create a ‘net zero hub’, which for the first time, will integrate technologies from around the world designed to reduce and remove carbon.

Mr Brereton said: “I was very pleased to visit the Strongford Sewage Treatment Works to see the work Severn Trent are doing to create the world’s first carbon neutral waste treatment works and better manage sewage from across north Staffordshire.

“I was pleased to learn of the world-leading work they are doing in Staffordshire to reduce the environmental impact of the site and reduce emissions to achieve net-zero. It was also particularly useful to be able to discuss the actions they are taking locally to improve water quality and minimise the impact of storm overflows.

“I enjoyed being taken on a tour of the site to how improvements are set to be developed. This also gave me the opportunity to continue to raise the impact of HGVs on local residents and discuss the work being done to look at possible ways to improve access to Strongford.”

Work on the project is set to begin in September and is the latest investment for Staffordshire by Severn Trent, with the water company supporting 20 projects to the tune of £520,000 in the last three years, as well as £149,000 in support to 45 organisations through Emergency and Recovery Coronavirus support donations and £51,000 in core funding to support organisations with their day-to-day running costs.

The new hub will support Severn Trent’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and protecting the environment, while creating a ‘blueprint’ for all water companies to help them achieve their net zero commitments.

Cllr Jellyman said: “Plans for the new ‘net zero hub’ are very impressive and I am grateful to Severn Trent for inviting me to Strongford to hear how this ground-breaking project will be rolled out over the coming year.

“This hub will put Staffordshire on the map for innovation, and it is exciting to see how many opportunities, including jobs and green skills, will be created. We look forward to watching it progress and welcoming new and innovative technologies to the region.

“It was also very useful to be able to raise directly some of the concerns often brought up by residents in Trentham about the operation of the site and the need to improve access for HGVs.”

Among the new technologies on-site will be a novel cover for sludge plants which reduces levels of nitrous oxide, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, through the use of catalytic material and the power of sunlight, as well as a process to remove toilet paper from sewage and recycle it into a valuable, sustainable material that can be used for insulation or construction products.

The new hub, which is already home to advanced digestion (THP) and ‘gas to grid’ technology, has the potential to change the face of wastewater management around the world. 

Rich Walwyn, Head of Innovation at Severn Trent, said: “We are immensely proud of our work to make this ambition a reality and we have partnered with some incredible businesses around the world to help us achieve our goal.

“We were delighted to welcome our guests to the plant and explain how we plan to create this world-leading net zero hub. The feedback we received was very positive and we are thrilled that others can see the potential of such an innovative project.”