Green light for new flood defences
Post Date: 11 February 2013
The government has announced plans for the construction of 93 new flood defences at a cost of £294m.
The new flood defences will protect a further 64,000 homes at risk from flooding and should ensure 165,000 homes will be better protected by 2015.
As well as providing relief to homeowners, the investment should also create new jobs and boost local economies.
Environment secretary Owen Paterson said: “The 93 schemes… will bring huge relief to tens of thousands of homes and businesses that have lived with the fear of flood waters hitting their doors. They can get on with their daily lives and work knowing that there are well built defences.
“This is also a message to the business community. By building defences that will unlock the economic potential of once blighted land we are saying to them that it is safe to come and set up. This will create jobs and grow the economy so we can compete in the global race.”
The new investment has been possible because of the increase in contributions from local councils, businesses and private investors, a partnership model introduced by Defra in 2011.
Paterson added: “Our partnership funding approach is a clear success, bringing in £148m on top of our £2.3bn investment so that more flood defences can be built.”
Major projects include:
- A £50.5m scheme in Leeds, protecting 495 businesses and creating more than 18,000 jobs. Leeds City Council is contributing £10m towards the cost of the scheme, with a further £5m to be raised from local businesses.
- New sea defences at Anchorsholme in Lancashire that will reduce the risk of flooding to 6,000 homes and highway, tramway and sewerage infrastructure. Blackpool Borough Council has contributed £4m toward the total cost of £28.4m.
- A £9.7m scheme at Skipton, North Yorkshire will reduce flooding to more than 350 residential and 165 business properties. Local business has contributed £2m of the project.
The partnership model approach also targets the most at-risk and deprived communities, who in the past may have held out for full funding from the government, but where there was little prospect of funding being available.
Lord Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, said: “Our priority is to do as much as we can with every pound of funding and the new partnership funding approach is bringing in new money to allow flood defences to go ahead that would have been unaffordable in the past.”
The government is on course to spend £2.3bn to prevent flooding and coastal erosion over the four years to 2015.
A full list of all the schemes is available here.