News story

£2.3 billion to be spent on new flood defences

Homes, businesses and farmland England to be better protected from floods by a six-year £2.3 billion flood defence programme

Homes, businesses and farmland from Lancashire to Essex will be better protected from floods by a six-year £2.3 billion flood defence programme announced by the government.

This first ever long-term investment programme will protect over 300,000 properties, reduce flood risk by 5% and save the economy £2.7 billion by 2021. The lifetime benefits of this investment will be even higher at over £30 billion.

With 1,400 projects within the programme, local authorities will be able to plan ahead and reassure communities that flood risk is being reduced in their area. New schemes may also be added as the programme progresses

Major projects that will benefit include:

  • £80 million for the Humber Estuary
  • £17 million for Tonbridge, Yalding and the surrounding communities
  • £196 million for the Thames Estuary programme
  • £73 million for the Boston Barrier/Barrage
  • £42 million for the Oxford Western Conveyance
  • £47 million for the Rossall Coastal Defence Improvement

In addition, the government has committed to spend £15.5 million in Somerset on flood defences over the next 6 years, benefiting 7,000 properties. This includes £4.2 million on the Somerset Levels and Moors. This is part of at least £35 million committed to Somerset from this year until 2021.

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. The lifetime benefits of this investment will be more than £30bn. New schemes may also be added as the programme progresses.

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