Thirteen projects and a further 9,000 homes in England – that is who will benefit from the fresh round of flood defence funding unveiled by the government this week. Worth more than £62 million, the extra allocation will support the development of seven projects in Yorkshire, four in Cumbria and Lancashire, and two in the North East.
The amount is not part of the record £2.6 billion the government has committed to invest over six years up to 2021, with the aim of better protecting 300,000 households across the country from flooding and coastal erosion. Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, who announced the additional funding, said events this summer have shown that investing in flood risk management is more important than ever.
Flood Re chief executive Andy Bord, in a statement sent to Insurance Business, commented on the good news by saying: “Flood defences are essential to giving those who live in high-risk areas peace of mind that they are protected from the worst effects of flooding. Our recently commissioned research also found that defences are a sensible financial decision, saving the UK £1.1 billion a year.
“We therefore welcome the government’s announcement of an additional £62 million to improve flood defences across the country. Alongside this, the government should continue to encourage take-up of resilience measures for homes in high-flood risk areas to reduce the upheaval for affected families when flooding does occur.”
The Environment Agency (EA), which will be updating its national strategy for flood and coastal erosion risk management, has completed construction of over 500 new flood and coastal erosion schemes since April 2015.
“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,” noted EA chair Emma Howard Boyd, who is UK commissioner on the Global Commission on Adaptation. “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.
“This vital investment comes on the same day that the Global Commission on Adaptation has released a report which issues a rallying cry to the international community to invest more in climate resilience including better protection for flood risk.”