Councils, community schemes, and farmers in the Thames Water area of North West Hants can now apply for a grant from the government to improve waterways. 

Environmental fines collected from water companies are now being handed out by the government to improve waterways, according to Kit Malthouse MP.

Some £11 million has been collected in fines from water companies across the country since 2022.

One of those water companies is Thames Water which has paid £3,334,000 in fines. 

The MP said people or organisations in the region can now apply for grant funding from this pot for projects which improve water environment.

Speaking after the announcement, Kit Malthouse MP said: "Since 2022, we have ring-fenced millions of pounds that water companies have paid in environmental fines, and this money will be used to improve our waterways.

"Locally, Thames Water have paid £3,334,000 in fines — and if you are local farmer, landowner or community-led group in the part of the constituency served by them, you can now apply for grants to use on projects to help improve our waterways. This can include activities that improve biodiversity and public access. 

"This money is taken directly from water company profits and will be used to improve our waterways — preserving them for generations to come."

The Water Restoration Fund money comes exclusively from water company fines and penalties. 

The MP added that, in the last few months the government has also announced a ban on water bosses’ bonuses when criminal breaches have occurred; fast-tracked £180 million investment to cut spills; launched a whistleblowing portal for workers to report breaches; fitted 100% of storm overflows with monitors; and provided £10 million in support for farmers to store more water on their land through Water Management Grants.