SWW's helping hand

South West Water (SWW) is pumping a further £15M into the regional economy a year ahead of schedule to help recession-hit local businesses. The extra investment is on top of the £152M already earmarked to be spent in 2009/10 and is in line with the government's plans to stimulate infrastructure spending during the economic downturn.

The £15M will be targeted at key improvement projects around the region, including:
  • £2.4M on upgrading flood defences at Pynes, Exeter's main water treatment works, following recommendations outlined in the Pitt Review into the summer of 2007 flooding in central England;
  • £8.2M to install ultraviolet disinfection at sewage treatment works in Bodmin (Nanstallon and Scarletts Well), Little Petherick, Golant, Lostwithiel, and improvements to stormwater tanks at Lostwithiel, Fowey and Brixton in South Hams; and
  • £700,000 on improving sewers and reducing flood risk around sewage treatment works at Teignmouth, Hayle, Helston, Countess Wear in Exeter and Brokenbury in Torbay.
Commenting on the development, SWW's director of engineering, Graham Murphy, said: "Bringing forward this spending will not only deliver improvements to our network, protect the environment and benefit thousands of customers, it will also help dozens of local businesses and safeguard jobs at a testing time.

"As perhaps the region's largest private sector investor, and one of its biggest employers, we are committed to doing everything we can to assist in what will be a crucial and testing year."

Tim Jones, chief executive of Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said: "After more weeks of bad news about the economy and the events in Westminster, news that South West Water has taken a firm lead in helping the recovery of local businesses is very welcome.

"The importance of this initiative is crucial to many small companies," said Jones.

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