2.3 billion pounds to be spent on new flood defences
Homes, businesses and farmland from Lancashire to Essex will be better protected from floods by an unprecedented six-year 2.3 billion pounds flood defence programme announced by the government.
This first ever long-term investment programme will protect over 300,000 properties, reduce flood risk by 5% and save the economy 2.7 billion pounds by 2021. The lifetime benefits of this investment will be even higher at over 30 billion pounds.
With 1,400 projects within the programme, local authorities will be able to plan ahead and reassure communities that flood risk is being reduced in their area. New schemes may also be added as the programme progresses.
Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss, said:" We know how vital it is to tackle flood risk and from the Humber Estuary in the North-East to Thames Estuary in the South this ambitious programme of defences will reduce the threat of flooding for hundreds of thousands of people.
"This long-term investment will allow businesses and communities to thrive and local economies to flourish by delivering greater protection from flood risk over the next 6 years.
"We are spending 3.2 billion pounds in flood management and defences over the course of this parliament, half a billion pounds more than in the previous parliament. This, combined with the record level of investment in capital we have set out today, will improve protection to 465,000 homes and businesses by the end of the decade."
Major projects that will benefit include 80 million pounds for the Humber Estuary, over 17 million pounds for Tonbridge, Yalding and the surrounding communities, 196 million pounds for the Thames Estuary programme, 73 million pounds for the Boston Barrier/Barrage, 42 million pounds for the Oxford Western Conveyance, and 47 million pounds for the Rossall Coastal Defence Improvement.
In addition, the government will commit to spend 15.5 million pounds in Somerset on flood defences over the next 6 years benefitting 7,000 properties, including 4.2 million pounds on the Somerset Levels and Moors. This is part of at least 35 million pounds committed to Somerset from this year until 2021. ■