Edinburgh water firm Business Stream seals seven-figure deal with Premier Inn owner

Edinburgh-based Business Stream will provide water services to scores of Scottish hotels and restaurants after sealing a deal with Premier Inn owner Whitbread.

The £1.2 million three-year contract extension will see the firm provide water efficiency support and consolidated billing to all 81 of Whitbread’s Scottish premises, which encompass the Premier Inn, Beefeater and Brewers Fayre brands.

Whitbread is one of the UK’s largest hospitality companies, operating more than 800 hotels across the UK and Germany as well as hundreds of restaurant sites.

The group has committed to an ambitious sustainability programme, which aims to ensure it has a positive impact on all its stakeholders and local environment. The business is dedicated to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Jo Dow, chief executive of Business Stream, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scottish Water with its own board and management team. Picture: Jo Hanley Photography

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A spokesperson for Whitbread said: “Over the years we’ve developed a strong partnership with Business Stream as they’ve supported us to generate both financial and environmental savings. We’re now looking forward to working with them to deliver further water efficiencies across our Scottish sites.”

Jo Dow, chief executive of Business Stream, said: “As a retailer, we’re passionate about working with our customers to help meet their water needs, with a key focus on helping them use less water. We’ll continue to support Whitbread to generate efficiencies, helping them to achieve their sustainability targets.”

News of the Whitbread agreement comes just a fortnight after Business Stream sealed one of its largest contracts since the English retail water market opened to competition.

The three-year contract with Ancala Water Services, which was awarded following a “highly competitive” tendering process, was worth more than £45m.

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The agreement will support the £1 billion, 25-year Aquatrine contract in which Ancala Water Services delivers water, waste-water, fire system maintenance and specialist estate management services to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) across England and Wales.

Business Stream will work in partnership with Ancala to supply water and waste-water services to more than 650 sites across the West Midlands and the south west of England.

The Scottish non-domestic water market opened up to competition in 2008, while the English retail water market opened in 2017.

Douglas McLaren, chief operating officer, Business Stream, said: “We have a vast amount of experience in working with the private and public sectors and a proven track record in delivering financial and environmental savings to our customers. We’re now looking forward to working in partnership with Ancala Water Services to support improvements across their business.”

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Business Stream is the largest operator in the Scottish non-domestic water market. Headquartered in Edinburgh, it also has a presence in Worthing and Bradford, and employs more than 350 people.

The firm, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scottish Water with its own board and management team, acquired the non-household customer base of Southern Water in preparation for the English retail water market.

At the start of October 2019, Business Stream, which was formed in 2006, acquired the customer base of its competitors Yorkshire Water Business Services and Three-Sixty, both part of the Kelda Group, doubling its market share.

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