Over 1,000 flood schemes to benefit from record investment

More than £860 million is to be invested in flood alleviation schemes this year with further action including improvements to flood insurance.

Thousands more homes and businesses are to be better protected from flooding and coastal erosion, as part of plans published by the government outlining a record £5.2 billion of investment over the next six years. Of that figure, more than £860 million will be spent in 2021-22 boosting design and construction of more than 1,000 schemes across England as part of the Environment Agency’s annual capital programme.

This year will see an extra £250 million spent on flood and coastal defences in 2021/22 compared with last year - the highest ever annual investment. It includes an extra £40 million compared with last year for schemes in Yorkshire and the Humber, a region that has suffered from repeated flooding in recent years, and an extra £53 million for the north west, the region which was hit hardest by Storm Christoph this winter.

The Flood and Coastal Erosion Investment Plan sets out how new flood and coastal schemes will better protect 336,000 properties by 2027, helping to avoid £32 billion in wider economic damages and reducing the national flood risk by up to 11 per cent. This follows the Environment Agency’s successful delivery of the government’s previous £2.6 billion investment between 2015 and 2021, better protecting more than 314,000 homes.

The funding will be accompanied by a consultation in the autumn, where the government will look at how to better protect frequently flooded communities, following a call for evidence earlier this year. It will consider how to strengthen the assessment of local circumstances, such as where areas have flooded on multiple occasions, when allocating funding during the six-year plan.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “The tragic recent events in Germany and Belgium serve as a sobering reminder of how devastating flooding can be. We are standing by communities and will bolster defences against flooding across England with many thousands more properties better protected by 2027. It’s important we take action right across the system. Our comprehensive plan will achieve this by tightening planning procedures, helping more people access insurance and making homes more resilient to the effects of flooding.”

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