Flood defence schemes across Lancashire move forward thanks to funding boost

Flood prevention schemes across Lancashire have been given a cash boost to help move them forward.

By Phil Cunnington
Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 12:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 12:34 pm

The Environment Agency is using £170m in funding announced this week by the Government to accelerate flood defence construction in 2020 or 2021.

The £9 million Padiham Flood Risk Management Scheme, which will protect up to 93 homes and 70 local business upon completion and the £11 million Caton Road, Lancaster Flood Risk Management Scheme which will protect up to 40 homes and 1,174 local business, have both received a much awaited funding boost to help the projects move into their next stage.

This will allow the Environment Agency and key partners to accelerate work on vital shovel-ready flood and coastal defence projects which will drive economic growth and unlock a range of benefits for local economies, including the protection of jobs and businesses.

Construction in progress on flood defences in Caton Road, Lancaster

Padiham flooded extensively on Boxing Day 2015 with the area suffering its worst flood for more than 50 years. Dozens of homes, shops and businesses were destroyed and the town hall was also affected, putting the ballroom out of action for two years as major repair works costing thousands of pounds, were carried out. The area also flooded again during the devastation brought on by Storm Ciara and Dennis in February 2020.

The Environment Agency says the money means the scheme can continue its development at an enhanced pace, pending the finalisation of preferred scheme plans, as discussed with local community members and preparatory works including site investigations, planning, permitting and consents.

Andy Brown, Senior Flood Risk Advisor at the Environment Agency, who has been involved in developing the scheme from its early stages, said: “This funding is fantastic news for Padiham and ensures that our plans for flood defences within the area, as discussed with the local community, can progress to the next stage.

“A huge amount of work has been done alongside Burnley Borough Council, other partners and local residents to develop robust flood protection to 163 properties. Residents of Padiham, understandably, want to see flood defences in place to give them peace of mind during flooding incidents. Securing this funding is an important step to ensure local flood resilience is significantly improved.”

The clean-up in progress after floods in Padiham in December 2015

In Lancaster, the £1.4m funding boost will allow the £11 million Caton Road, Lancaster Flood Risk Management Scheme to continue its development at pace, to be operational by spring 2021, in one of the city’s most important commercial areas.

Key features of the scheme will include new flood defence walls and embankments stretching from Skerton Bridge to junction 34 of the M6. Additional works will take place on the right bank of the river to reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses on Aldrens Lane.

Coun Tim Hamilton-Cox, cabinet member with responsibility for sustainable economic prosperity at Lancaster City Council, said: “Securing this additional £1.4m in funding is excellent news and enables enhanced protection of homes, and of businesses to support the local economy. I’d like to pay tribute to the huge amount of work that has been undertaken by officers in the city council in partnership with the Environment Agency, construction partners, a number of local businesses, and our communities to deliver this project and improve our flood resilience.”