The Environment Agency has announced over £745m of funding to reduce the risk of flood and coastal erosion in England and Wales for the year to March 2011.
The grants have come from Defra, the Welsh Assembly Government, Local Authorities and the European Union.
The investment includes funds to build new and maintain existing river and coastal defence schemes, develop flood forecasting technologies and heighten public awareness of flood risk.
Some of the key flood and coastal erosion defence projects planned to benefit from funding in the 2010/11 financial year include:
- Nottingham (Midlands): £14m on this £51m scheme to protect 16,000 homes and businesses along a 27km stretch of the River Trent.
- Barking and Dagenham (Thames): £12m to improve protection to almost 5,500 properties. This includes the construction of two new pumping stations and the refurbishment of tidal sluices along the Beam River and Gores Brook.
- Dymchurch (Southern): £11.9m to complete ongoing works on this £60m sea defence scheme which will contribute towards the protection to over 6,000 properties.
- Wigan (North West): £5m to construct an upstream flood storage basin and bring improved flood protection to around 600 homes in Wigan.
- Clwyd Estuary (Wales): £1.3m to reinstate flood banks on both sides of the River Clwyd. This work will help protect 1,150 properties in Kinmel Bay and parts of Rhyl.
- Leeds (Yorkshire and North East): £0.5m to progress plans for flood defences in Leeds. The proposed scheme will cost a total of £149m – the largest ever planned inland flood defence scheme to date. The completed scheme would increase protection to one of the largest commercial areas in England and about 4,500 homes in the city centre.
- Morpeth (Yorkshire and North East): £0.4m to progress plans to develop flood defences in Morpeth, most recently affected by flooding in 2008. The proposed £17m scheme is scheduled to start in late 2011 and finish by late 2013, providing increased protection to 1,000 properties.
The Environment Agency has welcomed increasing Government spending on flood and coastal defences, but has warned that increased funding must be found to reduce risk and protect against rising sea levels and the more intense rainstorms that will come with climate change.
It has estimated that investment in the building and maintenance of defences will need to increase to £1bn a year by 2035 to maintain current levels of protection.