We caught up with our team managing the job in Borough Market, London.

Left to Right you have Donald MacIntyre, Forefronts Planning and Operations Manager, Paul Jones, Forefronts Key Account Director and Peter Copper, our client’s (SGN) Project Manager.

Not pictured is Iain Williams, Forefronts Project Manager and Simon Clifton and his team, the gas engineers who are installing the gas main. All have been working very hard to get the work done within a timeframe of 8-weeks.


Forefront Utilities are installing a 180PE reinforcement gas main on Stoney Street from the junction of Southwark Street to Winchester Walk. The work is being undertaken in one of the busiest areas in London, Borough Market, a famous food market surrounded by restaurants and cafes. Because of the location, our team has a tight 8-week schedule to finish the work, so that the local businesses can continue as usual and aren’t impacted by the construction work. There is also TFL (Transport for London) to consider, as Stoney Street is an essential route running through the centre of the city.


We spoke to Donald MacIntyre, one of Forefronts Major Works Planner, who is managing the site here at Borough Market, to ask him about the challenges of working on a site like this.

Donald: “there were extensive negotiations prior to the start of the work. We had to liaise closely with Southwark Council, TFL, Borough Market management, and the local businesses, so lots of people were involved!

The thing to consider on this type of job is how it will affect the volume of people using this area every day. The tight 8-week program definitely makes things challenging, but we are happy to say we are on target to finish on schedule”.

Have you taken any measures to accommodate the local businesses and pedestrians using this area?

“yes, during the work, acoustic barriers are installed to reduce noise levels in the locality. We also use water as a dust suppressant measure, avoiding airborne dust particles landing on the many fresh food stalls.”

Were there concerns about the work beforehand?

“Before we begin any job, we need to consider the ground we are digging up, we don’t know what’s underneath and hitting another mains line could be dangerous.  Prior to starting the work, the area was surveyed using Ground Penetrating Radar Survey (GPRS) to determine the best route that was freely available, avoiding cables, water pipes and other services. This is non-intrusive technology requiring no excavations.”

How are things progressing?

“The work is progressing well, and we are receiving positive feedback from local businesses and our client, SGN. Numerous meetings are being held during the construction program to ensure that all involved are updated on progress and their responsibilities.

Southwark Council has also requested that we begin collaborative work towards the end of the project with BT/Openreach, Thames Water, UKPN, Fulcrum Connections and a local developer building flats in the vicinity. As we (Forefront and SGN) were already doing work in the area, the council thought it would be suitable for us to take the lead in this collaborative work, as it would reduce the total project construction time in the area for all utilities.”


Whilst visiting the site we also had the opportunity to talk to Peter Copper, SGN’s Project Manager. Peter is a representative of our client so it’s important for Forefront to liaise closely with him and build a good working relationship.

Here is what Peter had to say about working with Forefront on this job:

“Forefront has given SGN one of the best, if not the best team for this type of challenging work and they have not let us down – they have achieved all the targets and we are looking good for the remainder of the job.”

Our gas engineers, Simon Clifton and team, have done really well and have impressed our client, so a big well done!

Donald, Paul, Iain and Peter, have been working closely to ensure the job is completed within the given time period and that everything runs smoothly. We are delighted to hear our client’s project manager is happy with our work!


Forefront Utilities is one of our companies that make up Ferns Group. They specialize in gas mains installation, replacement, repair, and maintenance. To find out more about the work they do, visit their website here.


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