United Utilities has selected three parties to carve up £900m of work across north-west England.

The work, which would be carried out over five years, is about 40% of a wider £2.9bn water and wastewater programme.

A joint venture between Galliford Try, Costain and Atkins Water has been selected as preferred bidder for design and construction work, alongside KMI Plus, a joint venture between Kier, J Murphy, Interserve and Mouchel Parkman.

Design and engineering company Montgomery Watson Harza has been chosen as preferred bidder to provide design upgrades and improvements to water treatment works and sewer overflow schemes.

John Roberts, United Utilities’ chief executive, said it was looking to reduce overheads and make significant cost savings.