The government has announced £62m 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 aim to boost economic regeneration and increase prosperity in those areas. Many of the projects are located in communities which suffered from flooding during winter 2015.
In total, ministers claim that more than 9,004 homes will be better protected against flooding through this round of funding.
Environment secretary Theresa Villiers said: “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.”
The new 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 Hebden 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.
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.
The 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, said: “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.”