Work to begin on £78m bathing river scheme next week

By James Smith

13th Jan 2023 | Local News

Severn Trent has committed to create 50km of bathing quality water across the region (image via Severn Trent)
Severn Trent has committed to create 50km of bathing quality water across the region (image via Severn Trent)

Work is set to start on a £78 million project to create a stretch of bathing quality water in the River Leam.

Ground investigation will begin next week at the Pump Room Gardens, Midland Oak Park, Riverside Walk and Leam Road in Leamington Spa.

Severn Trent Water announced the multi-million-pound scheme last summer and will improve the quality of the water by reducing overflows and spills from the local sewer network.

The survey areas will be fenced off while the contractors are on site, which is expected to be around ten days.

The green recovery bathing rivers programme will see more than 50km of rivers be made bathing quality in Warwickshire and Shropshire.

Wilfred Denga, bathing rivers programme lead at Severn Trent said: “While we don’t own our region’s rivers, we recognise that we have an important role to play in improving river health.

"We’re really excited about the work we’re going to be doing across Warwickshire to achieve healthier and cleaner rivers, and we can’t wait for our local communities to enjoy the benefits of this, no matter how they use the rivers.

“This early ground investigation work is vital and will help us work out exactly what we need to do further down the line. We really appreciate everyone’s patience while we carry out this work.”

The scheme is set to be completed by March 2025 and councillors were updated on the project during a "very energetic" presentation from Severn Trent CEO Liv Garfield at the end of last year.

Speaking to Kenilworth Town Council, Cllr Richard Dickson said: "In no way am I suggesting that outdoor bathing in the River Leam is an acceptable replacement for outdoor swimming in Kenilworth Lido. 

"The two are very different issues and I don't doubt they will be very different experiences. 

"But nonetheless outdoor swimming is acknowledged to have substantial physical and mental health benefits." 

While he welcomed the plans, Cllr Dickson added: "I am not naïve enough to think that they are doing it for any other reason than the regulator might tell them they have to do it anyway."


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