The news was announced as parts of the UK experience some of the worst flooding in recent years.

Funding – with payments of up to £5,000 per property – will target measures to stop water getting into the home, such as temporary door- guards or waterproof render, or to reduce damage if water does enter the home, such as water-resistant walls and floors or raising electrics.

Leeds was chosen to participate in the pilot scheme, after the region suffered flooding several times in recent years including last month.

Minister of State for the Environment Phil Woolas said: “The pilot areas we have chosen have a range of different properties and flooding types which will enable us to test different approaches to reducing the impacts of flood damage to houses and how grants are made available.”

The DEFRA grants will be used by 70 residential properties on the Dunhills Estate, Halton, to explore how individual properties can be made more resilient to the impacts of flooding. Leeds will receive £90,000 of the £500,000 Defra has allocated for the pilot.

The other areas taking part are Uckfield, East Sussex; Bleasby, Nottingham; Sunderland Point, Morecambe, Lancs; Sandside, Kirkby-in- Furness, Cumbria; and The Sands, Appleby, Cumbria.

Currently, around 470,000 properties in England and Wales are at risk of flooding, including 393,000 homes, according to information from DEFRA. It is believed that such conditions are likely to rise as the effects of climate change increase.

“Information from the pilots, together with a parallel research project, will help us take a long term decision on whether such a grant scheme would be used more widely in the future to help protect people from the worst effects flooding has, in our homes,” said Woolas.

Dana Gornitzki

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