NORTHUMBRIAN Water has been awarded over £6m worth of funding for projects which will help to reduce leaks around the UK.

The funding has been granted to two separate projects. The National Leakage Research and Test Centre (NLRTC), was awarded £5.3m, and Stream, was awarded £880k.

The funding will be used to make services more efficient for customers, and also help to detect and repair leaks faster.

It comes as part of the second round of the Water Breakthrough Challenge, an innovation competition led by water regulator Ofwat and delivered by Nesta Challenges in partnership with Arup and Isle Utilities.

The National Leakage Centre project will see the creation of a large-scale five kilometre-long buried water network and control room, which will be used to help accelerate the development of leakage detection and repair solutions.

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Innovators and inventors will be able to use the site to test out their leakage solution ideas without interruption to customer supplies or risk to water quality.

The second project, known as Stream, will see the development of a new open data-sharing platform for the water industry and beyond.

Angela MacOscar, Head of Innovation at Northumbrian Water Group, said: “I am incredibly proud that we have managed to secure funding for not one, but two of our projects.

“In the last round of the challenge, we won funding for customer-focussed projects – and whilst these projects will help our customers, they will also boost innovation and provide environmental benefits too.

“I particularly love these projects because they are real enablers that will speed up the development of innovative products and solutions in the water sector.”

“I can’t wait to see how both of these projects develop.”