United Utilities is to get £500m from The European Investment Bank to to support investment across the North West.
The 18 year loan from Europe’s long-term lending institution will be used to finance improvements to the region’s water and wastewater networks.
United Utilities serves seven million domestic customers and 200,000 business customers.
Local schemes being supported by the new European Investment Bank loan include the proposed pipeline to link West Cumbria to Thirlmere and the rest of the regional water network; work in Blackpool to increase the capacity of the sewer network and reduce the impact of storm overflows on bathing waters; and a major scheme to upgrade and replace half of the treatment process at the company’s largest wastewater treatment works at Davyhulme.
Capital investment backed by the European Investment Bank loan also includes enabling customers to better manage water use through water meters.
United Utilities’ investment programme builds on the successes of the previous five-year period, supported by previous loans from the EIB.
These include the completion of a £200 million extension to Liverpool wastewater treatment works – hailed as a milestone in the clean-up of the River Mersey and the regeneration of the city waterfront.
Other schemes that have benefitted from the funding include the West East Link water pipeline between Liverpool and Bury and the SBAP sludge recycling centre in Manchester.
Russ Houlden, Chief Financial Officer at United Utilities, said: “In 2015-20 we are delivering an investment programme of around £3.5bn for the benefit of customers and the environment .”