The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced it is to give a £500M loan to United Utilities for capital investment across the north west of England.
The 18-year loan will form part of the funding for United Utilities’ £3.5bn capital investment programme for the 2015 to 2020 regulatory period.
The money will fund schemes such as the proposed pipeline to link West Cumbria to Thirlmere and the rest of the regional water network. It will also fund a scheme to increase sewer capacity in Blackpool and a storm overflow system. This includes an underground stormwater storage tank at Anchorsholme Park (pictured) which will be capable of holding around 12,000m3 of water. A major upgrade is also taking place at the wastewater treatment works at Davyhulme.
The first £250M loan was signed last week and the second part of the loan will come later.
United Utilities chief financial officer Russ Houlden said: “In 2015-20 we are delivering an investment programme of around £3.5bn for the benefit of customers and the environment and to improve our ability to cope with climate change. We aim to do this at the lowest sustainable cost possible in order to keep bills down and this low cost funding from the EIB helps us to give our customers excellent value for the bills they pay.”
European Investment Bank vice president Jonathan Taylor added: “The European Investment Bank has provided £2.25bn over the last 12 years to support investment by United Utilities that benefits customers, the environment and the north-west regional economy. We are pleased to continue this strong engagement with United Utilities that will ensure that water infrastructure can cope with the region’s growing population and business sector, help customers to save money and ensure services are maintained during dry spells or heavy rain.
“As the largest lender to the UK water sector since before privatisation, the European Investment Bank recognises United Utilities’ commitment to offer graduate and apprenticeship schemes and work with local suppliers to maximise the impact of their ongoing investment.”