The cash from Defra, the Welsh Assembly as well as local authority and the European Union, is available from now until to March 2011.

It includes funds to build new, and maintain current, river and coastal defence schemes.

The Environment Agency said this morning (February 11) the investment forms part of its strategy to reduce the risk of flooding to more than 200,000 additional properties across England and Wales by 2015.

Agency chairman, Lord Chris Smith, said: “The 2007 floods cost homeowners, businesses, emergency services and others some £3.2bn.

“The high costs of flooding underline the importance of continued investment in reducing flood risk, particularly in face of the more frequent and heavy storms and rising sea levels that will come with climate change.

“It is essential we continue to defend communities, businesses and the economy from the risk of flooding and coastal erosion.”

Projects to benefit from the funding include:

Nottingham: £14m on this £51m scheme to protect 16,000 homes and businesses along a 27km stretch of the River Trent. The first stage of the works was finished ahead of schedule in January, between Sawley and the River Erewash.

Barking and Dagenham: £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: £11.9m to complete ongoing works on this £60m sea defence scheme which will contribute towards the protection to over 6,000 properties.

Wigan: £5m to construct an upstream flood storage basin and bring improved flood protection to around 600 homes in Wigan.

Kinmel Bay: £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: almost £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: almost £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.

Luke Walsh

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