Press release

£3 million flood defences boost protection in North East

A multi-million pound scheme to reduce the risk of flooding to 350 homes and 32 businesses in Teesside is complete.

A overview of the docks
A overview of the docks

The Environment Agency joined forces with local business Wilton Engineering to deliver the Port Clarence flood alleviation scheme.

Wilton has manufactured a removable section of defence, which protects their work site and the local community from flooding, but ensures they can still operate from the river.

This week the Environment Agency attended High Clarence Primary School to talk to pupils about flooding, the new defences and how the scheme protects where they live and the surrounding local businesses.

The Environment Agency’s Operations Manager for the North East, Alan Cadas, said:

This has been a really innovative collaboration between ourselves and Wilton Engineering – seeing us work together with industry to protect the local area.

The removable defence means homes and businesses in Port Clarence are protected from flooding, but they also ensure Wilton can still operate its business from the river when required.

The scheme has also seen a mixture of embankments, flood walls and ground raising along the River Tees to reduce the risk of flooding.

I remember well the impact of the most recent floods on the local community and I hope the completion of this scheme provides reassurance for residents going into the future as well as protecting local industry.

The sections of removable defence joins with a concrete flood wall which runs along the rest of the front of Wilton’s site.

In total the length of the new defences measures almost 1.5km. There’s been 132 precast concrete units used weighing nearly six tonnes each.

And 47 bespoke removable sections of steel defence, each six metres long and weighing 1.2 tonnes each have been lifted into place.

There are also new flood embankments to the east and west of Wilton, and a 35-metre section of the road on the approach to the Transporter Bridge has been raised by around half a metre.

Construction started on site in March 2015 and was completed in December.

Wilton Engineering Chief Executive Bill Scott added:

Flooding is a huge problem throughout many parts of the UK. I am sure the residents of Port Clarence will be able to sleep knowing that they are now protected against similar flooding events to that which occurred during the tidal surge back in December 2013.

It is testament to the Environment Agency to proceed so quickly to install a large bespoke flood defence system to protect the local community, and businesses.

Wilton Engineering was very keen to work in partnership with the Environment Agency from day one to ensure that the scheme could go ahead utilising collaboration to great effect. Indeed we will continue to work with the Environment Agency to ensure the flood defence scheme is maintained and therefore robust for many years.

Jon Hargreaves, Chairman of the Northumbria Regional Flood and Coastal Committee said:

I’m delighted the Port Clarence scheme is complete, bringing much needed protection for the community, as well as industry in the area.

The Environment Agency has worked closely with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council during the scheme.

The most recent impact of flooding in Port Clarence was seen in December 2013, when a tidal surge combined with high spring tides affected around 50 homes and businesses.

Across England, the Environment Agency’s flood schemes have protected an extra 182,000 properties in the past three years – and it’s spending £2.3 billion over the next six years to reduce flood risk to a further 300,000 more properties.

Check to see if free flood warnings are available in your community and sign up by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or by visiting the website.

As well as checking flood risk, residents can also find out what action you can take to protect your personal safety and property by visiting the Environment Agency website.

Published 8 March 2016