UK flood defences to receive a £40m boost
A fresh injection of cash from central government will improve the UK’s resilience to extreme weather events.
£40 million will be spent on 13 defence schemes around the country to support communities impacted by flooding in recent years.
Almost half of the funding, £17.4 million, will be invested in five schemes in the north of England. The town of Rochdale in Greater Manchester will receive £5 million to help protect 1,000 residential properties and improve public infrastructure; the area suffered severe damage from the unprecedented floods over Christmas in 2015. A further £7 million will go into bolstering the defensive capabilities of the River Irwell in nearby Bury and Radcliffe.
Over £10 million will also go into a scheme in the St Austell area of Cornwall, which will help bring forward £4.8 million from partners in the area. A key component of the scheme are the co-benefits it will bring to people and the environment. Along with stronger flood barriers, the money will be spent on new community green spaces, wildlife habitats and economic regeneration.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “This extra funding for flood defences will unlock schemes that will better protect thousands of homes and businesses against flooding, supporting regeneration in important towns and villages in the north and coastal communities.”
In total, the government estimates that 7,000 properties will be protected against future flooding, and forms part of a wider investment push to cover 300,000 homes by 2021.
Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, explained that the new funding was necessary to protect against a changing climate: “Across the country we are seeing more extreme weather, which makes the Environment Agency’s role to protect people, homes and businesses from flooding even more important.
From 2015 to 2021 we will reduce the risk of flooding for at least 300,000 homes so this £40million is another welcome boost to achieving that. It is great news for communities – not only will it help us build flood schemes but it will also help wider economic growth,” he added.
News published on Climate Action Programme
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