INVESTMENT is planned to improve treatment works at a site in the Lake District.

United Utilities say they have proposed investment to improve wastewater treatment works at Coniston in their next five-year spending period.

This comes as three sites on Coniston Water were granted designated bathing water status by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The successful applications were for Coniston Boating Centre, Coniston Brown Howe and Monk Coniston.

A spokesperson for United Utilities said: “We welcome the news that three sites at Coniston have recently been granted a bathing water status.

“We have proposed investment to improve our wastewater treatment works at Coniston as part of our next five-year spending period.  We hope to have approval from our regulator for this project at the end of this year.”

The government says the Environment Agency regularly monitors water quality at designated bathing water sites and assesses whether action is needed to cut pollution levels.

This is achieved via working with local communities, farmers, and water companies to improve water quality at these locations.

On the designation of the three bathing statues at Coniston Water, Chair of Coniston Parish Council Tracy Coward said: “We’re absolutely thrilled because loads of hard work has gone on.

“This is the second year that we’ve tried to get this, so we’re really pleased.

“It’s really for looking forward to the future now knowing that the water will be regularly tested by the Environment Agency so that’s really positive for people using the lake.”

The new designated bathing water status came into force on May 15 in Coniston with 27 new sites being allocated as bathing waters nationally.

Westmorland and Furness Councillor for Coniston and Hawkshead Suzanne Pender added: “I’m really over the moon for the community, and it’s been a great team effort, because it’s been the parish council working with Westmorland and Furness Council and we’ve had quite a lot of volunteers helping to survey the sites to evidence we get 100 swimmers an hour in the high season.”

Last a year a bid to grant bathing status at Coniston Water was turned down by the government.

Cllr Coward said this year there was more information available about numbers required to achieve the status and added: “It was quite clear that Coniston is really popular for swimming so it seems logical that we would get it this time.”

MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale Tim Farron also welcomed the news that Coniston has been awarded bathing water status.

Mr Farron said: “It’s great news that the Government have finally u-turned and decided to grant bathing water status to Coniston.

“This decision is down to the tireless efforts of the local community in Coniston, especially Coniston Parish Council and local Lib Dem councillor Suzanne Pender who have been working so hard on this for several years.”

Cllr Pender added: “I feel it’s become the local persons bathing water of choice; I think it’s really important to keep it as clean as possible for now but also for future generations.”