Client: World Wheel (Newcastle) Ltd

Contract Value: £35k

Solmek were instructed by SHED, on behalf of the World Wheel (Newcastle) Ltd, to undertake a provisional site investigation on a parcel of land at Spillers Quay, Newcastle, NE6 1AQ. The proposed development comprises a large Observation Wheel, Visitors Centre and adjacent retail, sports and amenities building.

Solmek were tasked with undertaking the initial Phase 1 Desk Study and Coal Mining Risk Assessment for the scheme. This was followed with an initial stage of site investigation to prove the underlying ground conditions and allow the client to proceed with a full planning application for the development.

Further site investigation is planned once planning permission has been granted.

Solmek site & grounds investigation North East.

Fieldwork was agreed with the client and SHED as:

  • 6no. cable percussive boreholes drilled to depths of between 7.20m below ground level (bgl) and 26.50mbgl (BH4).
    • Boreholes were drilled to determine rockhead and obtain samples for geotechnical analysis.
  • 2no. rotary open hole and cored follow on boreholes drilled to depths of 65.00 and 65.40mbgl respectively.
    • To assess potential worked coal seams beneath the site.
  • 7no. machine excavated trial pits excavated to depths of between 0.10mbgl and 2.70mbgl.
  • 2no. trenches (TR1 and TR2) to depths of 2.50mbgl and 2.60mbgl.
    • Positions of the trial pits were set out to expose the quay wall ties and investigate archaeological excavation pits.


Solmek had to prove the ground conditions to enable a preliminary design for the big wheel foundations. This also included two deep boreholes to assess voids from historical coal mining, particularly in the High Main seam.

We had to initial concrete core the boreholes as over 2m of surface concrete was present in some areas due to the past historical land use of the site.