600 jobs to be created in Cumbria after record £13 billion United Utilities investment

Proposals would increase water bills to pay for the record investment. Credit: United Utilities

Over 600 jobs in Cumbria are set to be created as United Utilities commit to more than £13 billion of investment in the North West.

The water supply company announced its five year business plan for 2025-2030.

It included proposals to employ 650 people across Cumbria and create green jobs through schemes like restoring 2,144km2 of peatland to reduce carbon emissions.

This would also include improving 219km of rivers by removing barriers to fish and eel migration at Haweswater.

The company also said that it would spend £38 million to return three sites to nature, one of which is Crummock Water.

From 2025, the company is planning to deliver better quality tap water by investing in aqueducts. More than 900 kilometres of water mains would be upgraded to reduce leakage and interruptions to supplies.

The proposals, if accepted, would be the biggest ever investment in water infrastructure for over 100 years but would require an increase in bills.

Louise Beardmore, CEO of United Utilities said: "While we recognise that the plan necessitates an increase in bills, we also recognise the economic challenges facing our communities. That’s why we’re proposing an industry-leading support package of over £500 million, meaning that one in six customers will receive financial support so we reduce the risk of anyone being left behind by the costs of rising bills.

"Now, more than ever, we need to rise to the challenge, deliver improved services for our customers, the environment and our communities in Cumbria. It matters to customers, to regulators, to shareholders and it matters to us, and we are determined to deliver the step change we all want to see. We look forward to the opportunity of delivering this ambitious plan."

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