Flood and coastal defence funding: submit a project proposal
- Environment Agency
- Part of:
- Flood and coastal defence funding: for risk management authorities and Flooding and coastal change
- First published:
- 27 March 2014
- Applies to:
How to produce and submit a project proposal for flood and coastal erosion risk management (FCERM) funding.
As a risk management authority, you can apply for a grant in aid (GiA) to carry out flood and coastal erosion risk management (FCERM) projects.
You’ll need to submit a project proposal outlining the works and benefits you want to carry out.
Contact your Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for help with your application.
You don’t need to apply for a grant for emergency coastal protection works.
If you want to update a project that’s already been allocated funding you need to contact your Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager.
What you can get a GiA for
You can apply for funding for:
- projects – standalone schemes to build or improve defences and structures
- strategies – a series of interconnecting projects for complex flood or coastal erosion risk situations
- studies – investigations of your FCERM options or their environmental effects on designated areas
You can get funding to:
- build new flood and coastal defences (eg channels, walls, embankments) and structures (eg sluices, pumping stations)
- improve existing defences and structures
- benefit wildlife, eg improving or protecting habitat
You may also be able to get funding for other types of FCERM works, such as:
- dredging and de-silting – one off projects to bring a channel to a condition where it can then be maintained
- beach management works – recharge, replenishment and re-nourishment work
- recycling work – mainly to counteract long shore drift
- fish or eel passage or screening – works to halt and reverse the decline in European eel stock on FCERM assets
Internal drainage boards, local authorities, highways authorities and water companies can only get a GiA for works that:
- create a new FCRM asset
- reinstate the design life of an existing FCRM asset
- extend the design life of an existing FCRM asset
Highways authorities and water authorities can only apply for GiA funding for projects to reduce flood risk which wouldn’t ordinarily be within their remit.
Beach management and recycling works must be part of a 5-year plan approved by the Environment Agency (EA) or the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Read the latest grant memorandum for a detailed list of what you can get funding for.
You can get funding to produce a strategy if you can show there are credible options to investigate which may reduce complex flood or coastal erosion risks across several interconnected areas.
If your strategy is approved, it’ll support your individual project business cases.
Strategy applications need to be written up as Strategy Appraisal Reports.
Contact your Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager if you want to produce a strategy.
Your strategy application needs to show:
- the anticipated benefits that will be delivered by the projects it will support
- any individual projects that have already been identified that are expected to follow the proposed strategy
- the link between the strategy and these projects
If you haven’t identified individual projects yet that would be part of the strategy, you can include an estimate of the likely outcomes of one leading project arising from the strategy.
You can get more information in the FCERM appraisal guidance.
You can apply for a GiA for a study to investigate whether a FCERM project is needed and the potential options for addressing that need.
Your application should be made as part of a project proposal.
You need to provide estimates of the project:
- partnership funding score
Contact your Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager if you want to apply.
If your application is unsuccessful, you can contact your regional flood and coastal committee to discuss whether you can fund your study with local levy.
What you can’t get a GiA for
Projects which cost less than £5,000 can’t get a GiA and must be paid for by maintenance (revenue) funding.
The following types of works are considered to be maintenance and aren’t eligible for a GiA:
- works that reinstate the standard of service of an existing FCERM asset without reinstating its design life
- beach management such as regrading and re profiling work that’s predominately carried out to counteract ‘drawdown’
- dredging and desilting work that’s carried out on a regular basis in order to maintain the condition of a channel
How funding works
How much GiA funding you can get is based on how much public benefit your project will have, for example how many households are better protected from flooding.
If your project qualifies for a GiA which only pays for some of the works, then you’ll need to get the rest of the money through ‘partnership funding’ or reduce your costs.
For example, a project qualifying for 90% of GiA funding can still go ahead if you:
- get a 10% contribution through partnership funding
- reduce costs by 10%
- both cut some costs and get some partnership funding so that you have 100% of the funds
Anyone who will benefit from a project is a potential partner, such as:
- local communities
- local authorities
You should start trying to find potential funding partners as soon as you’ve identified your need for FCERM works.
Contact your Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for advice and potential funding partners in your area.
As the lead organisation, it’s your responsibility to develop the initial business case and bear the cost of the early stage of project development to the first stage business case.
Calculate how much partnership funding you need
Use the partnership funding calculator to find out how much:
- GiA you can get
- extra funding you’ll need to get through partnerships
The calculator takes into account:
- how many homes will be better protected from flood risk or coastal erosion
- how many of those homes are in deprived areas (which carry a heavier weighting than homes in non-deprived areas)
- any benefits to wildlife, eg habitat created or improved
Read the partnership funding calculator guidance if you need help using the calculator.
When to apply
If you want your project to start next year, you must apply before this year’s deadline – contact your Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager to find out when you must submit your project by.
How to apply
Projects starting within 6 years
You can choose to either:
fill in both proposal parts 1 and 2 of the project proposal form – this will automatically populate the FCRM1 medium term plan at the end of the form
directly fill in the FCRM1 medium term plan form and get a signed authorisation form from your local FCERM office
Send the completed project proposal form or medium term plan form to your Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager along with:
- a signed authorisation form from your local FCERM office (only if applying with the medium term plan form)
- your ‘partnership funding calculator’ showing your funding options
- a map showing the project’s benefit area
If your project is urgent (for example, for statutory, legal or health and safety reasons) you must complete the moderation form in the FCRM1 or project proposal form. You must concisely explain why it is urgent and the impact it will have if the project is not completed in the timescales you have requested.
Urgent applications are not more likely to be approved, but you may get your funding more quickly if they are approved.
Projects starting in 7 years or more
You need to register your project in the FCERM programme to raise awareness that you’ll need a GiA in future.
You can choose to either:
fill in both proposal parts 1 and 2 of the project proposal form - this will automatically populate the FCRM1 medium term plan at the end of the form
directly fill in the FCRM1 medium term plan form
Send the form to your Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager.
You’ll need to send in a full application when your project is ready. Your local FCERM area manager will agree a deadline for this with you.
How to draw a map of the project’s benefit area
You must also submit a map with a ‘polygon’ (a ring or closed shape made up of connected lines) showing the project’s benefit area, eg which households will be protected by the new defence.
- enclose all households that benefit from the project
- be individually enclosed with no holes or gaps
- be defined, measured and recorded to a precision of 10 metres
- represent an area larger than 10 metres squared
- be named according to a National Project Number - or the project name if a number hasn’t been issued yet
enclose all relevant watercourses/frontage (JPEG, 41.3KB)
- show how far upstream and downstream the benefit area extends from the defence
Include an attributes table for your shape-file which includes the project name and national project number for each polygon.
Use several polygons for a strategy. Discrete urban areas need to be hydraulically connected, ie have linked water systems.
You can submit your map as either a:
- Geographical Information System (GIS) shape-file (prefered)
- PDF showing an outline on a map
This map will be used to update the interactive FCERM activities map.
Standalone environmental projects
You must try to include any environmental outcomes that you want (eg to protect wildlife sites or create new habitat) into a flood risk management scheme rather than using FCERM funds specifically for this purpose. You can get guidance on what this means from your local FCERM office.
You may be able to get funds for standalone environmental projects in certain circumstances, for example:
- to specifically protect water framework directive protected areas, for example special areas of conservation, special protection areas
- to ensure that the overall FCERM programme complies with legal obligations
If you want to submit a standalone environmental project which isn’t part of a FCERM scheme, contact your local FCERM office. You must fully explain why an integrated scheme is not possible.
After you apply
If your proposal is successful
You’ll get a letter telling you that your application has been successful and telling you what to do next.
Defra and EA will also make a public announcement about which projects have got funding.
Your project will be added to the programme of FCERM schemes. Depending on the partnership funding status of your project it will be added to either the pipeline or development phase of the programme.
You must then develop a business case for the project
If your proposal is unsuccessful
You can resubmit your application for the following year if you’re unsuccessful.
Contact the Environment Agency
PO Box 544
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm 0370 8506 506.
From outside the UK +44 1709 389 201.
Published: 27 March 2014