£40m extra funding to boost regeneration and better protect thousands of homes against flooding
Thousands of properties across England will be better protected against the threat of flooding thanks to a multi-million pound investment by the government, Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey confirmed today (Friday 20 July).
- Extra funding will better protect more than 7,000 properties including over 5,000 homes
The funding will boost regeneration in coastal communities hit by flooding in recent years
Across the country 13 flood schemes - including two in Norfolk - will benefit from £40million of additional funding which will unlock flood defence schemes and help support economic growth and regeneration in areas that have suffered from flooding in recent years.
The additional funding, first announced in the budget, adds to millions of pounds of government grant-in-aid allocated to these projects and partnership funding already secured. It will help leverage an additional £24million from other sources, enabling the flood schemes to go ahead. In total, more than 7,000 properties will be better protected against flooding, including over 5,000 homes. This additional money is part of our £2.6billion investment from 2015 to 2021 to fund 1,500 flood defence schemes which will better protect 300,000 homes across the country.
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.
"It will boost our resilience as a nation and help our communities to grow and prosper."
Over the past three years, the Environment Agency has completed more than 400 new flood schemes to better protect more than 142,000 homes. In addition to building hard defences, it has improved its response by investing in new technology and equipment like temporary flood barriers, pumps and 6,500 trained staff across the country.
In Norfolk, two schemes are set to benefit from the funding announcement. This includes the next phase of the Great Yarmouth Flood Defence Improvements project, which has received £5.4m, and the Wiggenhall Tidal Riverbank works, which has been awarded £200,000.
Abigail Singleton, Environment Agency Senior Advisor to the Great Yarmouth project said:
"This is fantastic news for Great Yarmouth's future development. We've worked with a range of partners on this project who all recognise the importance of investing in the town's flood risk infrastructure.
"Together with Great Yarmouth Borough Council we've supported local businesses to form the Tidal Defence Business Partnership that will steer the delivery of the project. We're also working closely with New Anglian Local Enterprise Partnership, benefiting from their expertise in flood risk infrastructure investment and its role in delivering economic growth and further development in Great Yarmouth.
"This truly is a team effort."
In a joint statement, Cllr Graham Plant, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Cllr Carl Smith, chairman of the Environment Committee and Cllr Trevor Wainwright, Labour Group Leader, said:
"The River Yare Tidal Defences are a huge benefit to everyone who lives in, works in and visits the borough, protecting our homes, jobs, and the highways and other vital infrastructure that we use every day.
"Securing investment for flood and coastal defence schemes like this always requires robust business cases with a clear ask, years of targeted lobbying by communities, businesses, local authorities and other partners, and funding contributions from a variety of sources, including from a range of Government pots. This funding pot is targeted for deprived communities in flood risk areas with growth potential.
"This important and welcome £5.4m investment from DEFRA, in addition to the £8.2m already agreed from New Anglia LEP, completes the partnership funding required for the £39m second phase of the tidal defences scheme, and represents a huge vote of confidence in the borough's growth prospects as the offshore energy hub for the Southern North Sea and as a major holiday destination."
The funding bid was supported by the Tidal Defences Business Partnership, a business-led group working together to move ahead the tidal defence works as quickly as possible.
Keith Vincent, chairman of the Tidal Defences Business Partnership, said:
"As businesses, they protect our places of work, our staff and equipment; essentially they give us the confidence to continue to invest in, and grow our businesses in Great Yarmouth. This crucial and really welcome investment by Defra in Great Yarmouth is a key goal which the Tidal Defences Business Partnership has been working towards and will help the borough to realise its full economic potential, unlocking huge opportunities for businesses based in the borough."
The funding for Wiggenhall will help restore the standard of service to sections of the Great Ouse Tidal River embankments that are critical infrastructure providing flood protection to rural communities in North West Norfolk.
Paul Burrows, Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the Environment Agency's Great Ouse catchment, said:
"We have identified the need to refurbish sections of banks along the Great Ouse Tidal River, this funding is an important starting point for taking a project further over the next couple of years."
Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, said:
"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."
Press release issued on behalf of DEFRA, July, 20, 2018