Five flood schemes chase emergency £120m funding

Aaron Morby 10 years ago

The Treasury has released £120m in extra funding to speed up vital flood defence schemes in the wake of disastrous flooding across the country.

Five planned schemes have also been told to bid for the new cash because they offer potential to support growth and protect high risk areas.

Announcing the emergency extra funding, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Flooding can have a devastating effect on communities.

“Last week I met families and members of the Environment Agency and emergency services who have been incredibly brave and steadfast in testing times.

“I have also seen how flood defences can help protect people and property from being ravaged by flood water.

“So I am pleased that this additional £120m will help to fast track defences for up to 60,000 more homes and unlock up to £1 bn of economic benefits.”

Flood defence schemes invited to bid for funding

  • Lower Don Valley in Sheffield: £11m scheme would help protect 300 businesses, employing 15,000 jobs in the city’s industrial heartland which experienced severe flooding in 2007.
  • Ipswich: £54m scheme would help build a tidal barrier to protect 1600 homes and 240 commercial properties in the city centre against significant flood risk, and allowing derelict waterside land to be redeveloped.
  • Derby: £73m scheme would help regenerate the riverside area of the city and stimulate investment into the Lower Derwent Valley as well as improving flood protection to nearly 1900 properties and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site.
  • Exeter: £26m scheme would improve the protection of 2,850 homes and 1,150 businesses in the city centre.

Civil engineers have welcomed the extra funding, which comes on top of the £2bn set aside to tackle flood and coastal erosion risks over the course of the Spending Review.

But they have also reminded Government that the national flood defence programme has already suffered deep spending cuts, despite growing public anxiety about large-scale flooding risks.

Institution of Civil Engineers flooding expert, David Balmforth, said: “The additional £120m funding is a positive step, but does not make up for the reduction in flood risk management funding following the cuts in 2010.

“The phased funding approach will also mean the full £120m will not be available for some time, which will be a disappointment to those with homes and businesses still at risk.

“In the meantime, this funding must be complemented by continued support to lead local authorities in their new flood risk responsibilities and enabling communities at risk to become more flood resilient.”

He added: “Government should also proceed with caution when it comes to developing in areas of significant flood risk.

“The intention to target some of the investment on areas that will generate economic return is welcome, but building homes that aren’t sufficiently flood resilient in areas already at risk of flooding, could lead to long term consequences. New development should not increase the risk of flooding either locally or elsewhere.”

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