Press release

£86m to be spent on new flood defences across the South West

Homes in Exeter, Dawlish Warren and Exmouth will be better protected from floods thanks to an unprecedented six-year £2.3 billion flood defence programme, benefitting the South West to the tune of £86m.

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


A new flood defence scheme in Perranporth, just one of 163 schemes across the South West getting the green light today, is worth £825,000 and will protect over 200 properties in the area.

Other schemes funded in the first two year ‘construction’ phase in the South West include:

  • Dawlish Warren and Exmouth Beach management scheme, designed to reduce flood risk to almost 3,000 homes and businesses.
  • the new flood defence scheme in Exeter, is worth almost £17 million and will protect 4,149 properties in the area. This was supported by a £6 million contribution from Devon County Council and Exeter City Council.
  • Exmouth Tidal Defence scheme, which will ensure that almost 1,100 properties in the area will be protected.

Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury said:

The south west bore the brunt of terrible flooding earlier this year, so I have earmarked £86 million of flood defence funding across the region to protect thousands of homes here.

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:

Under our plans, the South West will be better protected from floods thanks to 163 schemes across the region, including a new flood defence scheme in Exeter, that will bring 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 16,000 properties in the South West. Across England, it will reduce flood risk by five percent and save the 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 investment 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.

It can be seen at the following link:

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Published 2 December 2014