Environment secretary Theresa Villiers has announced a new round of flood defence investment for communities across Yorkshire, Cumbria, the North East and the South East of England
Thirteen projects across England will benefit from a share of over £62m, which as well as helping develop existing flood defences, will boost economic regeneration.
In total, more than 9,004 homes will be better protected against flooding through this round of funding. The extra funding is in addition to the government’s commitment to invest a record £2.6bn over six years up to 2021 to better protect 300,000 homes across the country.
Villiers said: “I am delighted to announce over £60m of additional funding to better protect communities which are vulnerable to flooding, particularly across parts of northern England.
“Events this summer have shown that investing in flood risk management is more important than ever, and this funding builds on our long-standing £2.6bn commitment to better protect 300,000 homes from flooding and coastal erosion over six years.”
Flood defence funding will support the development of 11 projects in the Northern Powerhouse, including seven in Yorkshire, four in Cumbria and Lancashire and two in the North East.
£19m is set to go to Calder Valley, where the Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge and Brighouse schemes will be developed. More than 3,000 properties flooded in the West Yorkshire valley during the 2015 floods, leaving communities in the area badly affected. With this new boost, the two projects at Hedbden Bridge and Brighouse are now to be developed, with work due to begin next year.
Communities in Yorkshire will also receive additional funding with more money for the Tadcaster Flood Alleviation Scheme and additional funding for defences at Sowerby Bridge.
Minister of state for the Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry, commented: “This new funding for flood defences in the North of England adds to the £5.4bn already invested into the Northern Powerhouse to drive jobs and economic growth, and a record £13bn to upgrade transport infrastructure across the North.
“We’re investing in public infrastructure so that local communities have the support and backing they need to flourish and seize all of the opportunities that come with leaving the European Union on the 31 October.”
Cumbria and Lancashire are due to receive the second largest amount of funding, with £22.8m now available to support four flood projects in Kendal, Egremont, Flimby and Preston and South Ribble. The proposed scheme for Kendal involves three phases, of which the first will provide a 1 in 50 level of protection for 1,480 homes and 1,151 businesses.
This round of funding will also allocate £6.3m to projects outside of the Northern Powerhouse, in Essex and Lincolnshire. In Essex, the River Roding project at Shonks Mill will better protect 550 homes in Woodford and its surrounding areas, while in Lincolnshire, the Lincoln Defences project is set to reduce flood risk to 1,842 homes and 424 businesses.
Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, concluded: “This extra funding will help us to go even further in our mission to better protect communities up and down the country from the terrible effects of flooding.
“We will work closely with these communities to design and build projects which not only reduce flood risk but which also benefit wildlife and the local economy for decades to come.
“This vital investment comes on the same day that the Global Commission on Adaptation has released a report which issues a rallying cry to the international community to invest more in climate resilience including better protection for flood risk.”