Mackley and Jones Bros £167m Havant Thicket Reservoir


A new joint venture will deliver the first large-scale new water storage reservoir in the UK since the 1980s – valued at £167 million. 

Havant Thicket Reservoir
Credit: Mackley
by Rory ButlerFebruary 20, 2023

Mackley, of the Van Oord Group, and Jones Bros Civil Engineering in North Wales, have united as Future Water MJJV Limited to construct the major Havant Thicket Reservoir, in Hampshire. 

The scheme is a partnership between Portsmouth Water and Southern Water. 

Ward & Burke Construction will install a new £41 million tunnelled pipeline, running to and from the new reservoir, as part of the project. 

The reservoir will secure critical water supplies for the South East of England and help protect environmentally sensitive chalk streams. 

It will be one mile, east to west, and half a mile, north to south, on a 160-hectare grassland, owned by Portsmouth Water since the mid-1960s. 

When finished in 2029, the reservoir will hold around 8.7 billion litres of water and supply up to 21 million litres of water each day. 


Portsmouth Water will finance the scheme via a combination of £150 million of equity provided by investors in its owner Ancala Partners, as well as borrowed money.  

£120 million of equity funding will be used this year, with a further £30 million in 2024. 

Ultimately, though, the reservoir will be paid for by Southern Water, through its drinking water customer bills. 

‘Flagship development’ 

“We were highly impressed by the proposals put forward by Future Water MJJV and Ward & Burke during the tender process, with both companies being able to call upon vastly experienced teams, with strong track records in successfully delivering major infrastructure,” said Bob Taylor, CEO of Portsmouth Water. 

Future Water director John Dielhof added: “The scheme will safeguard dozens of jobs for our skilled workforce, as well as create opportunities for apprentices and trainees to kickstart their civil engineering career with us. 

“In addition, we are eager to see the impact this has on the local economy, through supply chain opportunities and spend in the local area.” 

The reservoir was granted planning permission in 2021. A further application for the new pipeline is expected in the summer. 

The scheme could also feature a visitor centre in the future. 

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