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Overview of NI Water’s Planned Infrastructure Investment in Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council during Price Control 21 (2021/22 to 2026/27)

27 February 2024 14:15

NI Water met with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council representatives on Monday 26th February 2024 to provide an overview of the company’s planned infrastructure investments, challenges, and development constraints over the coming years.  

NI Water emphasised its commitment to finding solutions and exploring all available options to work with Councils and developers to progress the Council’s ambitions for the people in their area.


NI Water’s Head of Investment Management, Dr Stephen Blockwell, said: “NI Water is ready and capable to deliver for the people of Antrim & Newtownabbey.  However, recent potential budget reductions of approx. £900m over the next 3 years could severely restrict the progress we hoped to make.”  


At the meeting, NI Water explained the necessity of appropriate funding to upgrade the system and accommodate investment and growth in Northern Ireland. 

“This is not a ‘wish list’ or a ‘nice to have.’ This is the blueprint that will help us ensure NI Water can deliver in a strong, modern regional economy,” said Dr Blockwell.

Dr Blockwell continued: “NI Water is ready to provide engineering solutions to short term constraints where possible. The full funding identified by the Utility Regulator in its Final Determination, PC21 (Price Control period 2021-2027) is required to fulfil the vision of economic expansion in Antrim and Newtownabbey.  Potential development sites are already currently restricted in terms of connection to NI Water’s infrastructure which is a major concern.


“However, even with full funding, this investment will only begin to address the sewer and wastewater capacity issues.  It will require further investment during future Price Control periods to allow new housing and business development to proceed in some areas.

“The message is clear. While NI Water has an ambitious plan, sustained investment is needed for wastewater and water infrastructure across Northern Ireland.”

A number of slides with information on current sewer and wastewater issues and proposed investment in Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council were presented at the meeting.

Further information can be found on our website


Notes to Editors:


  • During PC21 restrictions will be eased but not fully removed in various locations. A sustained investment will be required over multiple Price Controls (18+ years).
  • Recent issues regarding flooding on the Shore Road area of Newtownabbey were discussed. NI Water are undertaking investigations to establish the possible causes of the flooding, and any solutions to deal with this ongoing problem would be subject to the outcome of these investigations and the availability of funding.
  • The Utility Regulator published its Final Determination of what it believes Northern Ireland Water should deliver in both levels of service and capital programmes during the six years from 2021 to 2027. The Regulator’s Determination also determines the level of costs and finance required to be invested by Northern Ireland Water’s shareholder, the Department for Infrastructure, on behalf of the Assembly Executive over the six years, beginning in April 2021. 
  • PC21 Business Plan Fast Read is available to view: click here

Media enquiries to the NI Water Press Office via email to

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