31.07.19

£25m Flood Risk Management Scheme for Carlisle is underway

The Environment Agency is starting work on a new £25 million flood risk management scheme which will help protect more than 1,600 homes and businesses in Cumbria.

Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, has officially marked the occasion with the first spade in the ground at Walkmill Crescent, near Botcherby Bridge, Carlisle.

Phase one of the Carlisle Flood Risk Management scheme will reduce flood risk to more than 1,200 homes and 106 businesses at a cost of £8 million pounds - increasing protection from the previous scheme completed in 2005 to a 0.5% chance of flooding in any one year.

In addition to raising and extending the existing flood walls, work during the first phase will also include enhancing wildlife habitats and improving recreation facilities, including new park benches and entrance features.

The Environment Agency will also be planting extensive wildflower meadows to increase the number of native birds, amphibians, small mammals and pollinators. The habitat will primarily support native pollinators including butterflies, moths and bees, helping to sustain insects that pollinate our food crops.

Sir James Bevan said: “I was in Carlisle during the 2015 floods and witnessed first-hand the devastating effects on people’s lives and livelihoods. I am personally delighted to see work starting on this new £25 million pound scheme which will better protect more than 1,200 homes and over 100 business against flooding for decades to come.”

Stuart Mounsey, Environment Agency’s Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for Cumbria, added: The community of Carlisle have seen how devastating flooding can be. That’s why I’m so pleased we can start work to further reduce flood risk to more than 1600 homes and businesses.

“We have worked closely with our partners and the local community to develop an improved flood scheme which not only benefits the people of Carlisle, but also the environment.”

It is hoped phase one of the scheme will be completed by the end of this year which will protect Carlisle in the winter months against another Storm Desmond-sized storm. The £25m scheme will be delivered over three phases in total and be completed in 2021.

The Environment Agency is working towards submitting planning application for the further phases during the winter of 2019.

 

Above photo: Sir James Bevan takes part in a sod turning event to mark the work beginning

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