17 May 2016

European Investment Bank visit to see benefit of £2.25bn United Utilities investment

17 May, 2016 - Jonathan Taylor, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, today visited Davyhulme, Manchester wastewater treatment works to see at first hand one of the crucial investment projects underway to improve United Utilities’ water and wastewater infrastructure in the north-west supported by the European Investment Bank. Over the last 12 years the European Investment Bank has provided £2.25 billion to support investment by United Utilities that benefits customers and the environment, as well as local companies across the north-west.

The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest lender for water-related investment and has provided more than £12.6 billion for investment in water and wastewater infrastructure across the UK since 1975, including expanding reservoirs, reducing leaks and protecting against flooding. The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and 16% owned by the UK government.

Last month the European Investment Bank, Europe’s long-term lending institution, agreed a new £500 million loan to support investment across the north-west of England by United Utilities. The 18 year loan will be used over the next 4 years to finance improvements to the region’s water and wastewater network. As the North West’s water and wastewater company, United Utilities is responsible providing water and wastewater services to seven million domestic customers and 200,000 business customers.

Russ Houlden, Chief Financial Officer at United Utilities, said: “We are investing around £200 million at Davyhulme.  This will enable the works to process increased flows associated with population growth and to be more resilient to extreme weather events.Through low cost financing from the European Investment Bank and a more efficient process, we will continue our march towards the lowest sustainable cost, helping us give our customers the best possible value for the bills they pay.”

Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President, said: “Treatment of wastewater at Davyhulme, one of the largest treatment works in Europe, builds on the pioneering foresight of Manchester’s city fathers over a century ago. As the largest lender to the UK water sector since before privatisation the European Investment Bank is pleased to support the impressive new investment by United Utilities at Davyhulme. This work seen here today already involves companies from across the region and the scheme will provide benefits for the north west for decades to come.”

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, as well as upgrading the Davyhulme wastewater treatment works. Capital investment backed by the European Investment Bank loan also includes enabling customers to better manage water use through water meters.

Lending by the European Investment Bank in the UK last year totalled £5.6 billion and supported long-term investment in 40 projects across the country. This represented the largest annual engagement since the start of EIB lending in the UK in 1973, which has supported nearly £16 billion of overall investment.

The European Investment Bank has a strong track record of supporting long-term investment across the north-west of England for more than 40 years and is committed to supporting long-term investment across the UK. Over the last decade, in response to requests from public sector and private business clients, the European Investment Bank has provided more than £5.3 billion for direct investment in transport, education, social housing, water, energy, healthcare and urban regeneration across the north-west.

This has included support for the new Alder Hey in the Park and Royal Liverpool University Hospitals, Manchester Metrolink, upgrading the West Coast Mainline, investment at Halewood and providing half the financing for the Liverpool 2 Port scheme. The EIB has also supported investment in new schools in Manchester, Stockport, Wigan, Blackpool, Halton and Chester and social housing across the region including in Toxteth, Chester and Port Sunlight.


Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. 

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