North Ayrshire Council has awarded the contract for the Upper Garnock Valley scheme and work is scheduled to get under way in late summer for completion in spring 2022.
The Upper Garnock Valley Flood Protection Scheme aims to reduce the flood risk to properties in Kilbirnie, Glengarnock and Dalry from the River Garnock, Powgree Burn and Rye Water. The area has a history of local flood events, most notably one in Kilbirnie in 2008.
The scheme consists of an embankment constructed to form a storage reservoir just north of Kilbirnie to will retain water and reduce downstream flow in the River Garnock. Day-to-day flows will not be affected, and the storage area will normally be dry and will only fill during periods of peak water flow.
Councillor Jim Montgomerie, cabinet member for green new deal & sustainability, said: “We are delighted that we are reaching a stage where we will see work start on a project which will have long-lasting and far-reaching benefits for the Garnock Valley. I hope that once complete, the flood protection scheme will offer local residents and businesses peace of mind and security.”
Scottish government environment and climate change secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Covid-19 is an unprecedented global crisis which has fundamentally affected every aspect of our lives. However, as we deal with its impact, climate change has not gone away and must now form a central part of our recovery from this difficult time. Supporting major capital works such as the Upper Garnock Valley Flood Protection Scheme is tangible evidence of the Scottish government’s commitment to climate change adaptation, and to driving Scotland’s green recovery from the pandemic.”
Seamus Devlin, civil engineering director at McLaughlin & Harvey, said: “McLaughlin & Harvey is delighted to have been selected by North Ayrshire Council to deliver the Upper Garnock Flood Protection Scheme. We bring the experience from our ever-expanding expertise in the flood protection sector, and look forward to commencing works in the near future.”
The contract will be carried out in accordance with North Ayrshire Council’s recently-approved Community Wealth Building Strategy. The contractor has committed to create new employment opportunities - typically for apprentices and/or unemployed people - equivalent to 10 full-time positions for the duration of the contract. McLaughlin & Harvey will also work with local companies and third sector organisations to maximise any subcontractor opportunities, amongst other commitments.