Northumbrian Water recently brought together over 80 people from more than 40 North East and national partner organisations to help develop their business plan for 2020-25.
Every five years water companies put forward their business plans to economic regulator, OFWAT. Key elements of this plan include each company’s investment programme for the next five years, fixing the income that the company is allowed, agreeing the value of customer bills, and setting out the company’s environmental commitment.
Northumbrian Water’s plans are well under way for 2020-25. Customers are at the heart of their plans, and they strongly believe that the best way to do this is to work with and hear from like-minded partners to help shape their future direction.
With this in mind, the water company recently held a Regional Thinking Ahead Workshop, to explore the potential for partnership working and to see how the North East can excel at this as a region. The workshop provided an opportunity for debate around consistent themes which had been identified in advance and presented opportunities for working together to help deliver common objectives. The workshop allowed Northumbrian Water and its partners to co-create ideas and proposals to take forward in future plans, for the benefit of partners, customers, communities and the environment.
Attendees at the event came from a range of organisations across the region and included the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Coal Authority, Rivers Trusts, Wildlife Trusts, Local Authorities, Business Representatives, Universities, Housing Developers, as well as a number of employees from around the water company.
Richard Warneford, Wastewater Director at Northumbrian Water said: “Our partners come from many different types of organisations, and have a wide range of knowledge and expertise. By bringing them together at events such as this we can help develop and build stronger partnerships. We want our partners to help us shape our existing and future services, and the ideas developed and discussed will be used to feed into our business plans and help drive decision making. By working collaboratively we will be in a better position to deliver great service to our customers, to enhance and protect the environment we work in and continue to provide top quality tap water, as well supporting our communities.”
Simon Lyster, a Non-Executive Director on Northumbrian Water’s board added "We know that working in partnership with other organisations is a great way of ensuring our river catchments provide quality water and stem flooding at a reasonable cost. We want to build on the partnerships we already have, and create new ones, so we are delivering even better value for our customers and even more benefits for the environment. The good news is that our partners are keen to do more as well, so we hope our 2020-2025 business plan will be our best ever in terms of value for our customers and gains for the environment on which we all depend."