A £5 million pilot fund for communities devastated by flooding or for those who are at risk has been launched today by Environment Minister Richard Benyon to protect their homes and businesses.
Up to 20 communities will receive grants for local flood risk management schemes. Defra will evaluate the success of each scheme to identify the best ways to improve resilience to flooding in communities across the country.
Environment Minister Richard Benyon said:
“Flooding causes devastating damage to people’s homes and possessions and can leave whole communities living in fear of more bad weather. This scheme will give these communities the chance to design and implement their own projects to protect their homes and businesses from future flooding.
“More is being spent by Government and our partners on flood risk management in this four year spending period than any other. We have introduced a new funding model that gives local people more choice over flood protection and allows more schemes to go ahead. We now expect to exceed our goal to protect a further 145,000 homes and businesses by 2015.”
Defra is inviting local authorities across England to come forward with proposals to improve their communities’ resilience to flooding. Funding for the successful applicants will begin in March 2013.
The Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder is a pilot scheme that will be run over two years.
Earlier this week, the Government announced £120 million in new funding to speed up the delivery of flood defences that could protect up to 60,000 homes and deliver up to £1 billion of economic benefits.
£60 million of the funding will be targeted at areas where flood defences can unlock new areas for development and growth, helping our country compete and thrive in the global race. Investment will be focused on areas where it will have the greatest economic impact. A further £60 million will help speed up the delivery of up to 50 flood defence schemes already in train and prioritised by the Environment Agency.
This additional funding comes on top of over £2 billion already set aside to tackle flood and coastal erosion risks over the course of the Spending Review.
The additional investment in flood defences, combined with the new money brought in through the Government’s successful partnership funding scheme means over the current spending review, funding will be higher than ever before on protecting people from flooding.
Note to editors:
For more information visit Community Pathfinder scheme.**
The Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder scheme is designed to follow on from Defra’s scheme to install Property Level Protection between 2009 and 2011. The scheme provided flood protection to more than 1,000 vulnerable homes and made them more resilient. Projects under the new Pathfinder are likely to combine a number of different elements which show how they have reduced the risk of flooding or improved resilience.
Funding criteria for the Autumn Statement, growth through flood alleviation fund
The Environment Agency will work with Regional Flood & Coastal Committees, local authorities and other partners to identify a list of flood and coastal risk management schemes that would lead to a measurable impact on economic growth, such as by creating new jobs, boosting inward investment, and unlocking the potential for regeneration and appropriate re-development. Expected impacts will need to have evidence provided by project sponsors.
Additional success factors to be considered by the Environment Agency when making recommendations to Defra ministers.
Accelerated delivery: schemes must be able to make measurable progress in the next 12-24 months with significant capital sums invested by March 2015.
Impact on households and flood insurance: number of existing dwellings better protected against flooding, particularly in areas of significant flood risk and high deprivation.
Value for money: **benefits in terms of direct flood alleviation as well as wider economic gains will need to be significantly in excess of project costs.**
Co-funding: commitments from local partners to meet any additional costs involved beyond the amounts being requested.