A £7 million scheme to manage flood risk for 438 properties in Lancashire was officially opened today (6 July 2017).
The Croston Flood Risk Management Scheme, developed by the Environment Agency in partnership with Chorley Council, Lancashire County Council and United Utilities, and in collaboration with the Lower Yarrow Flood Action Group, will benefit residents who flooded on Boxing Day 2015, when 344 properties were affected. In 2012, 30 properties in Croston village flooded.
The scheme, which includes an upstream flood storage area on the River Yarrow and 600m earth embankment is capable of retaining up to 1.3 million m3 of water – equivalent to 520 Olympic size swimming pools.
Chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd cut the ribbon on the gate leading to the new embankment and was shown around the new scheme by Cumbria and Lancashire Area Director of the Environment Agency, Keith Ashcroft.
The opening also included a presentation by Dave Massam from the Lower Yarrow Flood Action Group and Neil Forsythe from the Environment Agency.
The scheme received £5.4 million of Government Grant in Aid funding, including £2.1 million from the Government’s Project of Acceleration and Growth (PAG) programme launched after the summer floods in 2012. Chorley Council contributed £1 million, Lancashire County Council £181.000 and £667,000 was received from local levy to finance the scheme.
While the risk is reduced, people living in this and other flood risk area should sign up for flood warnings and be prepared for flooding.
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said:
In February 2016 I saw the devastating impact of the flooding in Croston and I am so impressed by the village’s recovery.
I want to celebrate the partnership between the community, the Environment Agency, the councils and United Utilities, who created the Croston Flood Risk Management Scheme together. Everyone has a part to play in protecting themselves from the risk of flooding, but it is by listening to each other and working in partnership that we get the best results.
Cumbria and Lancashire Area Director of the Environment Agency, Keith Ashcroft, said:
The village of Croston has a history of flooding, with 344 properties affected in the Boxing Day 2015 flood, 20 in 2012 and 205 in 1987 from the River Yarrow. This scheme allows us to control the flow of the River Yarrow and store water reducing flows downstream.
We have kept the community updated throughout the construction of the scheme, and the Lower Yarrow Flood Action Group was heavily involved throughout the project, including helping us to work with the whole community, who were able to walk along the embankment as part of the opening event.