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Government proffers £36m to improve flood protection

Government to fund flooding in England

Environment minister Thérèse Coffey has announced that communities across England will receive a share of £36 million to improve flood protection.

Communities in England spanning from Hull to Bath and Wolverhampton to the Wirral, will benefit from a government cash boost that will protect thousands of homes from flooding, enhance the environment and bolster economic growth and tourism.

In Hull, the £12 million fund will improve defences along the River Hull to protect homes, businesses, and the city’s areas of cultural importance. The funding will support the second phase of the project, which started in 2016 and has seen 39 sections of defence reinforced over a 7.5km stretch of river.

The main pier at Seahouses, Berwick-upon-Tweed, protecting 140 properties and the town’s harbour, will be regenerated with an extra £2.9 million.

Rivers will be restored and habitat improved in Gloucester, where £1.2 million will go to projects to protect 370 properties along the Sud Brook and River Twyer.

In Derby, more than £300,000 will help create new wetlands and flood reservoirs to protect 110 homes from flooding, and enhance biodiversity in residential areas.

Coffey said: “Not only will this investment make places more resilient against flooding, but it will help the local economy, enhance the natural environment and protect important areas of culture – whether it is the homes, businesses and cultural sites in Hull to the pier in Seahouses or the natural environment in Gloucester.”

The government has worked with the Environment Agency to prioritise the areas that would get the most benefit. The schemes will protect an additional 3,000 properties from flooding and will contribute to wider benefits for the community.

Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said: “In the face of challenges like a changing climate, rising sea levels and more severe weather, the Environment Agency is working hard to protect people, homes and businesses from flooding.”

He added: “As with every project we undertake, we’re also striving to improve our environment and this additional funding will not only help us build flood defences, but restore vital habitat and bring nature back to some of our urban communities.”

In the Autumn Budget, the chancellor announced that £76 million would be spent on flood and coastal defences. £36 million would go towards new schemes, and £40 million into boosting local regeneration in deprived communities at high flood risk.

This brings the total investment in flood defence to £2.6 billion by 2021, by which time more than 1,500 flood defences will have been built to safeguard 300,000 homes across the country.

The Environment Agency’s free flood warning system gives alerts when flooding is expected. Sign up to receive warnings, or ring 0345 988 1188.

Image credit | iStock