Flood-hit communities offered share of £100m government funding to bolster defences

Communities across England which have suffered the “miserable” devastation of repeated flooding in recent years are to be offered a share of a fresh £100m ringfenced government funding pot announced today to help better protect their properties.

The £100m Frequently Flooded Allowance is aimed at improving access to public funding for communities where 10 or more properties have flooded twice or more in the last decade, in a bid to help both accelerate existing flood defense projects and delivery new ones, according to Defra .

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it expected around 80 schemes – which are often smaller areas with more complex flood schemes – to receive support through the funding pot over the next four years.

Many of the successful bidders for funding, who will be announced later this year, are likely to be located in smaller areas requiring more complex flood schemes, and that community-wide defences are not always visible, Defra explained.

“Flooding is a miserable experience, especially for people who suffer its impacts time and again, and I feel we have a moral imperative to help,” said Environment Secretary George Eustice. “Our new Frequently Flooded Allowance will boost schemes in areas which are repeatedly hit and reduce the risk of flooding in the future. This new allowance will provide extra support for these areas and forms part of our major £5.2bn effort to build around 2,000 flood schemes by 2027 and level-up defenses across the country.”

The £100m allowance program forms part of the government’s broader investment in flood and coastal defences, which it has promised will total £5.2bn between 2021 and 2027 in order to provide around 2,000 flood defences.

It follows growing concern about the impacts of volatile and extreme weather in the UK, with record high temperatures above 40C having been recorded over a heatwave lasting several days earlier last week, while Environment Agency and business figures are meeting tomorrow to decide on the optimal response to dealing with scarce rainfall this summer.

That stands in stark contrast to the situation last summer, when flash flooding wrought disruption and devastation to homes, businesses and transport infrastructure. Scientists have made clear that such incidents of extreme weather are made a lot more likely by climate change.

Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, warned that the impacts of climate change “are becoming all too familiar both at home and around the world”.

“While we cannot prevent all flooding, this allowance will help better protect homes and businesses at risk from repeated incidents,” he said of the new £100m funding announcement. “The Environment Agency has a successful track record in delivering flood and coastal defense schemes across the country, having better protected more than 314,000 homes from flooding since 2015.”

The government claims its flood defences protected around 50,000 properties from flooding from Storms Dudley, Eunice, and Franklin. The funding for the latest £100m funding pot has been provided via the government’s total £5.2bn investment in flood defences and coastal erosion.

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