The Blairgowrie area has received a major jobs boost from local water and waste services provider Castle Water securing new work from Thames Water.
The firm is to create around 100 jobs in a significant expansion of its operations.
It presently employs about 50 people in the Perthshire town and its workforce will rise to around 150 with most of the new posts in Blairgowrie.
Castle Water and Thames Water have agreed the transfer of Thames’ retail activities for business customers ahead of deregulation of the business water market in April 2017.
It will carry out all customer services, including invoicing, billing and service queries and payment collection for an estimated 250,000 Thames Water business clients.
The deal will also see the firm sell water to Thames Water’s business customers.
Castle Water already supplies water services to customers in Portsmouth on behalf of Portsmouth Water.
It also supplies thousands of customers in Scotland, where the market has been deregulated since 2008.
Castle Water provides tailored services and advice across a range of industries, including manufacturing, agriculture, education, leisure and hospitality, public sector and infrastructure.
Based at Craighall Castle, it operates all customer services in-house from its customer service centre in Perthshire.
John Reynolds, chief executive, said: “Castle Water is excited about the opportunity to provide services to customers in the Thames Water area.
“This builds on our experience as one of the fastest growing water suppliers in the UK.”
Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “I’m delighted to hear that Castle Water has been successful in agreeing the transfer of Thames Water’s retail activities for business customers ahead of deregulation of the business water market in April 2017.
“Castle Water expect this to create around 100 jobs at its Blairgowrie headquarters, which is good news for the economy and a huge vote of confidence in the local area.
“The Scottish Government is committed to making Scotland a Hydro Nation.
“This deal builds on our already thriving water sector and is another demonstration that we have the skills, expertise and entrepreneurial spirit to succeed and grow our economy.”