Blackpool Council has applied to Ofwat for a water and sewerage licence, making it the first local authority to move towards managing its own water supply.
The licence would enable the council to buy water supply and wastewater services directly from United Utilities for its buildings and associated premises. It would manage its own retail services for over 120 sites across the borough.
The move is expected to save up to £194,000 over three years.
Cllr Fred Jackson, the council’s cabinet member responsible for the environment, said: ‘We are the first public sector organisation to apply for this licence. There are many benefits such as reducing administration costs and cutting out the margin that goes to others in the supply chain. We will pay the price that retailers pay to the water company which will deliver significant savings.
‘The licence also gives us a voice as it offers certain rights such as voting rights which can help influence the future development of the water market and the water strategy of the wholesaler.’
The council has worked in partnership with self-supply specialists Waterscan to facilitate the application.