United Utilities unveils partnership scheme to deliver £3bn of NW infrastructure works

Investment at UU's Davyhulme site

North West water and wastewater group, United Utilities, will partner with seven engineering and infrastructure businesses as part of a multibillion-pound plan to improve its services, including cleaner rivers, more reliable water supplies and better provision for customers, communities and the environment.

The Warrington-based group has been the subject of recent criticism over its environmental record and it says the proposal will help deliver the largest investment in the region’s water and wastewater infrastructure in more than a century.

Early last month it was revealed that around 10 million litres of raw sewage was illegally pumped into Lake Windermere, one of Cumbria’s biggest tourist attractions, after a fault that took United Utilities 10 hours to respond to.

Its proposed partnership programme depends on industry regulator, Ofwat, approving its £13.7bn investment plan for the 2025-2030 period.

United Utilities says the investment would support 30,000 jobs, including 7,000 new jobs within the company and wider supply chain, bringing investment in skills and opportunities to the heart of local communities and contribute £35bn of economic value across the region.

Following a competitive tender process, those selected to work alongside United Utilities are C2V, (a VolkerStevin/Jacobs joint venture), Costain, Jacobs, Murphy, Kier Integrated Services, Mott Macdonald Bentley, and MWH Treatment.

The partnership would be responsible for more than £3bn of major infrastructure in the region including upgrades to wastewater treatment works and reducing storm overflow activations by delivering the largest spill reduction programme in the UK, protecting more than 500km of rivers and bathing waters. It has committed to investment in the North West and will look to create a lasting legacy.

As well as using large suppliers, the company is keen to tap into the local supply chain and will be announcing further appointments of more delivery partners in the coming months.

Jane Simpson, Capital Delivery Director at United Utilities, said: “We’re really excited that we have secured some strong delivery partners to ensure we can deliver on our ambitious plans to transform infrastructure and services in the North West.

“It will be our most ambitious programme yet and by putting this partnership in place with some of the best design and construction companies in the country, it allows us to get to work quickly and deliver the transformation that we know our customers want to see.”