University open lecture dives into Thirlmere

University open lecture dives into Thirlmere

The University of Cumbria is taking a well-known local landmark as the subject of an open guest lecture being held at its campus in Ambleside.

On Wednesday 4 May at 4.00pm, Carl Sanders and John Butcher from United Utilities will deliver a presentation entitled Thirlmere – past, present and future, capturing both the history and the future plans for Thirlmere reservoir.

John will begin by examining a journey that started over 140 years ago when Manchester looked towards the Lake District to quench the thirst of the industrial revolution. He will describe how Thirlmere became the focus of attention and would go on to play a major role in the water supplies for Cumbria, Lancashire and Manchester for over a century. “Not only was the Thirlmere scheme a marvel of Victorian engineering” he says, “but it was responsible for a major improvement in the public health of the region.”

The next chapter in Thirlmere’s development is now about to take place. Carl Sanders will look to the future by explaining the huge new scheme to supply West Cumbria with water from Thirlmere reservoir. He says: “This is just as important today as it was 130 years ago as we look to extend it to secure a sustainable water supply system to West Cumbria.”

United Utilities are delivering a new water pipeline between Thirlmere and West Cumbria, which will consist of a £300m investment in new pipelines, pumping stations, underground service reservoirs, a valve house and a water treatment works, air valves and washout points. The scheme will create 400 jobs over the four years of construction beginning in 2017, subject to planning approval.

Sandra Booth, Pro Vice Chancellor Enterprise, Business Development and Engagement at the university says: “We see these open lectures as an ideal opportunity for the university to be more accessible to the public.

“As well as being a vitally important source of water to the north west of England, Thirlmere reservoir is a much-loved part of the Lake District landscape. I’m sure these ambitious new plans will be of great interest to the local community.”

The lecture is free and open to the public, although booking is required by emailing carol.milnes@cumbria.ac.uk