Barry McDonald

Barry McDonald, Fastflow’s first employee 24 years ago, has been appointed Managing Director of Fastflow Pipeline Services Limited.
The promotion comes after the business secured a water network improvement, repair, reinstatement and meter installation contract worth £270 million.

Barry was a key player in Fastflow retaining all of its current North East work with Northumbrian Water (NW) in the asset managament plan (AMP6 ) framework agreement. In addition, it will now also carry out work for Essex & Suffolk Water – also part of the NW Group.

 He says: “I am delighted to have been offered the post at the end of an extremely busy and successful year for the business. The contracts were won in the face of stiff opposition from major players in the construction and infrastructure sector.

“I believe this is because of the value and quality of services we offer. This is not just in terms of price but the way we harness technology and innovation in our processes, our commitment to corporate responsibility but above all, the customer.”

The deal represents about 82% of the AMP6 clean water contracts awarded by NW. It secures the jobs of 220 people at Washington, where approximately £2 million will be invested in new vehicles and equipment.

In the North East Fastflow Pipeline Services - part of the rapidly expanding Fastflow Group - will provide services to almost 2.7 million people, while in Essex - where there are approximately 1.5 million customers – a recruitment drive is now underway to engage 40-50 new employees.

The programme begins in April, is initially for three years but includes options to extend for two further three year periods.

Fastflow was created by North East Water in 1990. Recalling the early days, when his office was little more than a cupboard in the former Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company building, Barry added: “There was me, a telephone and a business plan and that was about it.

“If you had asked me then if I would still be here almost a quarter of a century later I would have said ‘no way.’ But being part of somethig which has grown and changed so much has been both exciting and challenging and I’m delighted to be taking on this new role at a time when the group is so well placed.”

Recruited from the Direct Works department at Middlesbrough Council to get Fastflow off the ground, Barry was there during the ‘French Connection’ when Lyonnaise de Eaux dipped its toe into the British Water industry and purchased Northumbrian Water.

He remained a key player when current owner, Neil Armstrong, bought the business in 2005 and and has been instrumental in its growth to become a £35 million turnover concern.

A family man with three grown up sons, he continues to live on Teesside – at Redcar – and when he has some spare time he enjoys a good book and family holidays.