Press release

£193 million for new flood defences in eastern England

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Homes in eastern England will be better protected from floods thanks to an unprecedented six-year £2.3 billion flood defence programme.

Homes in Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and along the Thames Estuary in Essex will be better protected from floods thanks to an unprecedented six-year £2.3 billion flood defence programme, benefiting the region to the tune of £193 million, which was announced by the government today.

The new phase one flood defence scheme at the Thames Estuary, just one of 92 schemes in the area getting the green light today, is worth over £62 million. This scheme consists of a number of flood defences that will protect communities, homes and businesses located along the estuary.

Other schemes that will protect homes and businesses in the area include:

  • New tidal defences, costing over £17 million, will help protect homes and businesses in Great Yarmouth. Many people were affected by the tidal surge last December and this continued investment will help protect them from high seas in the future.
  • £18.6 million will continue the investment in delivering a new coast protection scheme for Clacton-on-Sea and Holland-on-Sea. These defences will protect homes and businesses along a 6km stretch of the coastline and encourage further regeneration of the area.
  • £7 million of government funding is set to be contributed to a new flood defence scheme at Lowestoft which will help protect around 840 properties.

Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury said:

By investing £193m in 92 flood defence schemes across East Anglia, we can protect homes, businesses and whole communities from the devastating effects of flooding.

Investing £2.3 billion to support 1,400 schemes across the country will protect 300,000 homes from the north-east to the south-west. As well as ensuring people’s safety and peace of mind it will also bring over £30 billion of economic benefit, making it great value for money as part of this government’s drive for a stronger economy and a fairer society.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

Flood protection is vital and under our plans 92 schemes, including the Lowestoft scheme, will reduce the risk in vulnerable areas, bringing peace of mind to residents and businesses.

We are spending £3.2 billion in flood management and defences over the course of this parliament - half a billion pounds more than in the previous parliament. This, combined with the record level of investment in capital we have set out today, will improve protection to 465,000 homes and businesses by the end of the decade.

Environment Agency Chairman Sir Philip Dilley said:

Our priority is to do as much as we can with every pound of funding from government and local partners, we now expect to provide better flood protection to an additional 300,000 properties in England by the end of the decade.

With one in six homes in England at risk of flooding, and recognising the risk of flooding can never be eliminated, we would also encourage people to take their own steps to prepare for flooding, for example by signing up to the Environment Agency’s free flood warning service.

This first ever long-term investment programme will protect 17,134 properties in this region alone and save the national economy £2.7 billion by 2021. The lifetime benefits of this investment will be even higher at over £30bn. New schemes may also be added as the programme progresses.

Since the beginning of this parliament flood defence investment has improved protection to over 230,000 homes and over 580,000 acres of land in England. This new investment will protect at least another 300,000 homes by the end of the decade.

The investment programme was published alongside a new long term study from the Environment Agency which shows that the planned investment will reduce overall flood and coastal erosion risk in England.

To see the national picture, visit the interactive Google map here