Government unveils new £5.2bn investment to tackle flooding

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The government has revealed its long-term plan to tackle the risk of flooding and coastal erosion

As part of the plans, the government will invest £5.2bn to create around 2,000 new flood and coastal defences to better protect 336,000 properties in England by 2027.

It will also help households and businesses get back on their feet more quickly after flooding.

The proposals include £200m for innovative projects such as sustainable drainage systems and nature-based solutions like temporary or permanent water storage areas which also boost wildlife. These will support 25 areas at risk of flooding to test and demonstrate innovative actions to adapt to a changing climate and improve their resilience.

Shovel-ready flood defence schemes

Up to £170m will be spent to accelerate work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes that will begin construction in 2020 or 2021. 22 areas across the country will benefit from this immediate boost to jobs supporting the local economy as communities recover from the impact of coronavirus

The plan sets out proposed changes to the joint government and insurance industry Flood Re scheme. This will allow claims to include an additional amount so that flood resilience measures are included in repairs and allow households that have property flood resilience measures in place to benefit from lower premiums.

As the nation recovers from coronavirus, the measures announced today will also give long-term reassurance to communities across the country – particularly in areas where families and businesses have had to make huge sacrifices to deal with coronavirus while still suffering from the consequences of last winter’s flooding.

Protect hundreds of thousands of homes

Prime minister, Boris Johnson, said: “Last winter I saw for myself the misery and upheaval that flooding can bring to lives and livelihoods and I said we would do more to help people.

“This long-term plan will help push back the floodwaters and protect hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses and livelihoods.

“Our record investment will also stimulate economic growth across the UK as we build back better.”

Environment secretary, George Eustice, added: “The devastating impacts of last winter’s flooding were an important reminder of the need to continue to invest and accelerate action to reduce the impact of flooding on our communities.

“Our record investment and ambitious policies will better protect homes, schools, hospitals and businesses, but we also recognise that we cannot prevent flooding entirely, which is why we will ensure that communities at high risk are more resilient.

“Working closely with the Environment Agency, local authorities, business and the third sector we will create a better protected and prepared nation.”

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