Portsmouth Water is an industry-leading UK water only company.

It offers customers the lowest average water bills across England and Wales and is committed to improving the resilience and efficiency of UK water supplies.

Ancala invested in Portsmouth Water in 2018 and has since helped the business enhance its leading customer service performance and reduce water leakage.

Addressing the UK’s water resilience

The resilience of the UK’s water supplies is under pressure as a result of climate change and population growth. Portsmouth Water is uniquely placed to help with this major challenge.

In the winter, and during periods of high rainfall, the surplus water from local springs flows to sea, but could be stored in the Havant Thicket Reservoir. This will enable Portsmouth Water to share water from its network with neighbouring water company Southern Water and make water supplies much more resilient across the whole Southern region of the UK.

Ancala has played a critical part in helping Portsmouth Water to secure planning permission and, as of 2023, start construction of the reservoir. When we invested in the business in 2018, Portsmouth Water had owned the land since 1965. However, its previous ownership did not have the capital and resources to progress the project.

A proactive approach to unlock a major opportunity

Our proactive asset management approach has been a core part of bringing the project together. Ancala’s expertise and cross-sector network helped to secure the necessary approvals, including agreement from Ofwat to support the construction of the reservoir. This agreement includes an industry-first arrangement to share water resources with a neighbouring water company, improving water resilience across the region.

Ancala has also helped Portsmouth Water to secure a £325m financing package. The package includes £205m of innovative ESG performance-linked financing. Ancala is providing the project with a further £120m of equity funding.

Once completed, the reservoir will hold approximately 8.7bn litres of water – enough to supply about 160,000 people during an average year. The project will also protect environmentally sensitive chalk streams and provide a leisure facility to benefit over 120,000 local people and wildlife. There will be a new wetland to support bird species, footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways, facilities for bird watching, and picnic and play areas.

This project is being widely supported by the local community in Havant. This is thanks to the efforts of the Portsmouth Water team to engage with local stakeholders to understand their perspectives and incorporate them into the development of the project. The company delivers regular consultations with the community and publishes the key points and actions from each discussion to keep stakeholders informed.

Industry Partner expertise

The Ancala team was able to bring in industry-leading executives to support with the development of the project and Portsmouth Water’s wider growth plans. Notably, Ancala Industry Partners, who have unrivalled depth of knowledge about the sector, have proved incredibly helpful for unlocking the right opportunities for Portsmouth Water.

The reservoir is a major milestone for improving the UK’s water resilience. More details can be found on the reservoir, here.

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