AN enterprising team has beaten all the odds to achieve success north of the border.

United Utilities Business has become Scotland’s number two supplier, despite Scottish businesses being reluctant to switch.

They have secured contracts to supply water and wastewater services to businesses including furniture giant ScS, Timpsons, Park Resorts, The Original Factory Shop, Scotmid Foods and Safestore UK.

The successful group has been named team of the year by their peers in the UK utility sector.

United Utilities supplies water to homes and businesses across Halton.

Tony McHardy, sales director, said: “We started with a blank sheet of paper and had to rely on the talents and resourcefulness of colleagues within the core team to get results.

“Although backed by the wider division, Team Scotland is engaged in a project never before attempted by the business.

“The success is down to a close-knit, incredibly hard working bunch, enjoying the challenge of working in a new competitive open water market.

“A bit like a top flight football team, each individual was cherry picked according to their specialist skills.’"

The team is part of United Utilities bigger business retail division, which provides water and wastewater services to more than 200,000 commercial, industrial and public sector customers in the north west.

Mr McHardy added: "Only two per cent of the Scottish market had switched in the first five years of competition, so this was a suitably ambitious challenge for the team, designed to create the first real pressure test of the Scottish market.

“Now 15 per cent of business has moved and nearly half of the switching business has come to us."

Scotland is the first part of the UK to offer non-household customers a choice of water and wastewater supplier.

Non-household customers in England will get the same chance in 2017.