Government pledges £120m in flood defences

The Government is investing £120m to boost flood defences to protect homes and businesses and could deliver £1bn of economic benefits, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has announced.

Half of the funding will be focused on areas where it will have the greatest economic impact with the rest speeding up the delivery of up to 50 flood defence schemes already underway. 

The funding comes on top of more than £2bn already set aside to tackle flood and coastal erosion risks over the course of the Spending Review.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander visited Leeds on Friday where the commercial and industrial riverside area is regularly threatened by floods, holding back business growth and development.

He said: “The damage to so many households and businesses this week from the severe flooding seen across the country has been devastating.

“This £120 million boost to flood defences will accelerate improved flood protection for up to 60,000 homes and deliver much needed help to flood-threatened businesses across the country. £60 million of this will be set aside to help areas where the schemes will particularly support growth.

“I am delighted that Environment Agency officials have been working closely with the development of it and that, provided the expected outside funding can be found, this scheme will be one of the likely contenders to benefit.”

Further details on funding will be set out during the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Paterson added: “This additional investment in flood defences, combined with the new money brought in through our successful partnership funding scheme, means over the current Spending Review, funding will be higher than ever before on protecting people from flooding while speeding up fifty schemes across the country.”

Conor McGlone

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