Press release

Prime Minister announces more than £40m for flood defences

David Cameron today announced a package of more than £40m to rebuild and improve flood defences in the aftermath of Storm Eva.

  • More than £40m to repair and improve flood defences following Storm Eva
  • Money donated to charities to be matched by government
  • Robert Goodwill appointed as flooding envoy for Yorkshire

Prime Minister David Cameron today (3 January 2016) announced a package of more than £40m to rebuild and improve flood defences in the aftermath of Storm Eva.

And he pledged the government would support charities helping those caught up in the Boxing Day deluge by matching every pound of the first £2m raised.

The cash takes investment in recovery from Storm Eva and Storm Desmond to nearly £200m.

The package is now set to be extended with grants to reimburse fire and rescue authorities that have incurred excessive costs protecting flooded communities.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

I have seen at first-hand the devastation caused by flooding. And that’s why this work to repair and improve flood defences is so vital.

We are already spending £280m over the next 6 years to protect thousands of houses from flooding in Yorkshire as part of our £2.3bn investment to protect 300,000 houses across the country.

But now more than £40m will be spent to fix those defences overwhelmed by the record rainfall we’ve seen in recent weeks and to make them more resilient to further bad weather.

The Prime Minister announced £10m of the new funding package would be reserved to improve the Foss Barrier protecting York, which was overwhelmed at the height of Storm Eva.

The other £30m will be spent repairing defences on the Wharfe, Calder, Aire, Ouse and Derwent. It will include repairs to pumping and barriers and clearing blockages in rivers.

Further detailed work will be conducted along all rivers affected by Storm Eva – and it is very likely the overall bill will top £40m once the full damage is identified.

The announcement of matched funding for charities follows a similar pledge made to community foundations in Cumbria and Lancashire in the aftermath of Storm Desmond.

Applications for areas affected by Storm Eva can be made by any registered charities that are currently running a fundraising appeal for flood relief to benefit affected areas.

Find out more about the latest community response to winter flooding.

The flooding response in Yorkshire will be overseen by Transport Minister Robert Goodwill, who has been appointed by the Prime Minister as Flooding Envoy to the county.

Robert Goodwill’s role will complement the work of Flooding Minister Rory Stewart as envoy for Cumbria, Lancashire and Northumberland.

As a Ministerial Flood Recovery Envoy for Yorkshire, Robert Goodwill has been tasked with:

  • understanding the impact of flooding in affected areas, especially weaknesses exposed
  • tracking progress towards recovery and reporting directly to the Prime Minister
  • assessing the effectiveness of multi-agency joint working in affected areas (for both response and recovery); and
  • identifying lessons learned

Robert Goodwill and Rory Stewart will report into the Flood Recovery Committee chaired by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark.

Robert Goodwill said:

The effects of the flooding in Yorkshire have been devastating and my thoughts are with every person affected by the catastrophic weather we have seen sweep across the north of England this December.

As a Yorkshireman I am determined to ensure I do everything I can to help protect communities in this area from the devastation flooding can cause. This is about ensuring people get the support they need as they repair their homes and rebuild their businesses.