The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide £500 million to support water and wastewater projects in the UK.
United Utilities, which serves seven million domestic and 200,000 business customers, will use the 18-year loan to finance improvements across the north-west of England.
Projects being supported by the EIB loan include a proposed pipeline to link West Cumbria to Thirlmere and the rest of the regional water network, increase the capacity of the sewer network in Blackpool and provide water meters to customers.
Russ Houlden, Chief Financial Officer at United Utilities said: “In 2015-20 we are delivering an investment programme of around £3.5 billion 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.”
The five-year plan includes the completion of a £200 million extension to wastewater treatment works in Liverpool.
The EIB is the world’s largest international public bank and is 16% owned by the UK Government.