The aim of this project is to improve the understanding of the heritage of Tees Cottage Pumping Station as well as improving the accessibility of the site to a wide-range of visitors, such as schools and the general public.


From 1849 the Tees Cottage Pumping Station (TCPS) revolutionised water supply in Darlington and Teesside by offering cleaner, piped water to inhabitants who had previously relied on wells and rainwater tubs. Engines pumped water from the River Tees, which was then filtered and supplied to the water company's customers. It is the only remaining example of the three types of power used for water extraction; steam, gas and electric in Europe. The RTR Landscape Partnership has been working with the Friends of Tees Cottage Pumping Station and Northumbrian Water to secure the Scheduled Ancient Monument’s future by:

  • Engaging with the wider community to increase visitor numbers at existing steaming weekends and encouraging new volunteers to support the site

  • Introducing a schools programme to engage younger generations with our fantastic local heritage

  • Increasing on-site interpretation and interactivities so that visitors can have a hands on experience

  • Encouraging local volunteer groups to support the site by helping with the many maintenance tasks that need to be undertaken on a weekly basis

  • Supporting existing volunteers through training schemes and with traditional skills demonstrations

  • Exploring opportunities to increase access to the site, ranging from footpath improvements to virtual access of never-before-seen areas of the site.


Photos property of Peter Giroux