United Utilities to trial new river champion in Tameside

United Utilities will trial a pioneering approach to managing its operations and how it engages with the local community in Tameside this winter.

The North West water company is set to hire a River Champion to proactively patrol the banks of the River Tame and engage with the local community. 

The champion will be working with United Utilities’ teams in the area to prioritise maintenance of assets along the River Tame as well as cleaning litter and debris to mitigate against the aesthetic impact of the company’s operations.

As part of their Better Rivers: Better North West strategy, the champion will also be forging close links with community groups and organisations in Tameside to work with them to improve the environment around the Tame.  This includes the River Tame working group that has formed from the Upper Mersey catchment partnership and the Friends of the Tame Valley

Mark Sewell, Catchment Manager from United Utilities, said: “We’re really excited to be trialling this new approach to engaging with communities near our operations.  We’re making a significant investment in the area to reduce the impact our operations have on the Tame but we know there is more we can do. 

“As well as working with the local community, the new river champion will be able to react quickly to reports of issues with our assets in the area.  We hope this new approach will allow more people to enjoy the beauty of the River Tame and encourage them to get involved in keeping it that way.”

If the trial is successful in Tameside, the company has said it will look to roll it out across the region. 

Earlier this year United Utilities published its ‘Better Rivers, Better North West’ programme, outlining a £230 million investment plan to improve 184km of the region’s rivers.