Thousands of properties across England will be better protected against the threat of flooding thanks to a multi-million pound investment by the government, Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey confirmed today (Friday 20 July).
Across the country 13 flood schemes will benefit from £40 million of additional funding which will unlock flood defence schemes and help support economic growth and regeneration in areas that have suffered from flooding in recent years.
The additional funding, first announced in the budget, adds to millions of pounds of government grant-in-aid already allocated to these projects and partnership funding already secured. It will help leverage an additional £24 million from other sources, enabling the flood schemes to go ahead. In total, more than 7,000 properties will be better protected against flooding, including over 5,000 homes. This additional money is part of our £2.6 billion investment from 2015 to 2021 to fund 1,500 flood defence schemes which will better protect 300,000 homes across the country.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:
This extra funding for flood defences will unlock schemes that will better protect thousands of homes and businesses against flooding, supporting regeneration in important towns and villages in the north and coastal communities.
It will boost our resilience as a nation and help our communities to grow and prosper.
In the historic English Channel tourist town of Weymouth, £1.2 million will improve the harbour wall, reducing flood risk to 450 properties and helping to kick start the regeneration of Weymouth town centre.
More than £10 million is also being awarded to a scheme to protect deprived communities in the St. Austell Bay area of Cornwall. The funding will unlock an additional £4.8 million of partnership funding contributions and is additional to £13.4 million of grant-in-aid which has already been allocated to the scheme. The funds will support an integrated regeneration partnership project, which will help to reduce flood risk and develop plans for new housing and community green space.
Five flood schemes in the north of England will receive almost half of the total funding - £17.4 million- in a boost to the Northern Powerhouse. Rochdale in Greater Manchester will receive a total of £5 million to develop one of the largest inland flood schemes in the region. The defences in Rochdale will increase the level of flood protection to 1,000 residential properties as well as critical infrastructure such as the tram network, a bus station, a grid sub-station and a waste water treatment works.
Eight miles to the west, £7 million has been awarded for new flood defence work around the River Irwell in Bury and Radcliffe as a first step towards the development of a new £46 million flood defence scheme, better protecting 870 properties. In addition to raising flood defences at key locations along the river’s edge another key aspect of the scheme will be the creation of a wildlife habitat and amenity areas for the public by setting defences further back from the river.
The new funding for flood defences in the north of England adds to the £3.4 billion already invested into the Northern Powerhouse to build a more prosperous and inclusive economy where everybody has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Minister Thérèse Coffey added:
The north of England is a hotbed of culture, innovation and growth and this multi-million investment in flood schemes will help protect more than 2,700 homes and businesses from flooding.
The defences will also enhance the environment and bolster economic growth as part of our commitment to better protect 300,000 homes from flooding by 2021.
Over the past three years, the Environment Agency has completed more than 400 new flood schemes to better protect more than 142,000 homes. In addition to building hard defences, it has improved its response by investing in new technology and equipment like temporary flood barriers, pumps and 6,500 trained staff across the country.
Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, said:
Across the country we are seeing more extreme weather, which makes the Environment Agency’s role to protect people, homes and businesses from flooding even more important.
From 2015 to 2021 we will reduce the risk of flooding for at least 300,000 homes so this £40million is another welcome boost to achieving that. It is great news for communities – not only will it help us build flood schemes but it will also help wider economic growth.
A table with details of the schemes is below.
||Additional funding (£m)
||Potential leveraging of partnership funding contributions (£m)
|Egremont, Skirting Beck defence improvements
|St Austell Bar Resilient Regeneration Project – Par & St Blazey
|Portreath Flood Alleviation Scheme
|Paul stream channel/culvert refurbishments
|Great Yarmouth Flood Defence improvements
|Wiggenhall, Tidal River Bank improvements – Great Ouse Tidal Embankments
|River Roch, Rochdale & Littleborough Flood Alleviation Scheme
|Radcliffe & Redvales Flood Risk Management Scheme
|Humber, Winteringham and South Ferriby tidal defence improvements
|Corbridge Flood Alleviation Scheme
|Weymouth harbour wall improvement works
||Additional contributions being secured as part of the development of the wider strategy to further improve defences.
|Fowlea Brook Flood Risk Management Scheme
|Holderness Drain Flood Alleviation Scheme & East Hull and Gt Culvert