On 9 July 2017, visitors to Burton’s famous regatta had an opportunity to find out about the planned £17 million improvement works to the town’s flood defences. Staff from the Environment Agency were at the event to discuss the scheme and also spread awareness about being more flood resilient.
Burton has flooded regularly over the centuries. Ten years ago during summer the defences were put to the test when England and Wales suffered its worst ever flooding, with 414mm (16 inches) of rain between May to July, the most since records began in 1766.
The planned works to the Burton flood defences will see improvements to the 9km of existing defences that already protect more than 7,000 homes and businesses in the town, with a further 3,358 properties set to benefit. The work, due to start in October 2018, with a completion date of March 2020, will enable further transformation of the town centre to allow it to become more sustainable.
Mark Swain, who heads the Environment Agency’s Staffordshire flood risk team, said:
Burton is a major transport and business centre. The defences have prevented flooding for 100 days in the last 30 years. The cost to families and businesses if those defences had not been there would have been astronomical.
But we can’t afford to rest on our laurels; we’re working with our partners and the people of Burton to protect thousands more homes and businesses for the future.
That’s why it was so important for us to be at the regatta, explaining our plans and how everyone can do their bit to reduce flood risk.
As well as the plans for the new works and how to become more resilient, visitors to the regatta were also able to find out how the Environment Agency’s remote-control survey boats work and what is being done across Staffordshire to protect people and properties from flooding.