Press release

£297 million to be spent on new flood defences in Thames Valley

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

New flood defences will benefit homes in the Thames Valley to the tune of nearly £300 million, the government announced today.

The new flood defence scheme in Oxford, just one of 162 schemes in the Thames Valley getting the green light today, is worth over £100 million and will protect over 3,000 homes. Government funding has also been allocated to the Lower Thames scheme which will better protect around 15,000 homes.

Some examples of the schemes funded in the Thames Valley include:

  1. Thames Estuary programme reducing the risk to 8,219 properties
  2. Oxford Western Conveyance Flood Channel reducing the risk to 1,200 properties
  3. Lower Mole Flood Alleviation scheme reducing the risk to 3,064 properties in Surrey

Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury: said:

Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley were severely affected by floods last winter, so I have earmarked nearly £300m to protect homes and businesses across the region.

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 162 schemes will deliver better protection along the Thames Valley, including the Lower Thames Scheme, 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 around 25,000 properties in the Thames Valley 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. The new will protect at least another 300,000 homes in England 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.

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