British Water and the Water Industry Forum members ponder merger plan
25 Jun 2021
Two leading UK water sector organisations are recommending to their members that they join forces.
British Water and the Water Industry Forum say that if their combined memberships approve the project they will proceed later this year.
Chairs Chris Loughlin (BW) and Mark Fletcher (WIF) issued a joint statement explaining the move, emphasising that the purposes and activities of the bodies were ‘complementary and supportive’.
“During 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, our boards have been exploring this opportunity in depth, and our conclusion is that the case for us to join forces is compelling, with many advantages for our members and the UK water sector as a whole. Therefore, we are recommending to our members that we move forward together in 2021,” they said.
“Together, we can capitalise on our respective strengths, providing an enlarged membership with British Water’s established infrastructure, support services and industry forums – as well as unique opportunities to contribute to, and derive value from, the challenge-led thought leadership that the Water Industry Forum is recognised for.”
They insisted that the proposed combined organisation would enjoy increased authority and nationwide presence, as well as offering members enhanced services and increased value for money.
The chairs said the organisations’ management teams had developed a proposed operating model and governance framework to support the activities and priorities of the merged organisation.
They added it would preserve the Water Industry Forum’s integrity and independence, enabling it to maintain the trust and respect that it enjoys throughout the sector.
This would be guaranteed, they added, by ensuring Water Industry Forum remained a limited company, operating as a subsidiary of British Water, “with its management board bound by a code of conduct guaranteeing its independence and neutrality”.