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WYCA to invest over £4m in new flood defence schemes

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) is backing two flood alleviation schemes, it has announced almost immediately after Storm Eleanor wreaked havoc across the UK.

It is hoped that the plans will help to reduce the risk of flooding for hundreds of homes and businesses across Leeds City Region and protect land for new development.

These schemes will protect key areas of land by the Aire, Calder and Colne rivers, as well as housing and brownfield sites across east Leeds.

WYCA has committed to invest a total of £20m into flood alleviation projects across the city region since the Boxing Day floods of 2015, as well as a £5m Business Flood Recovery Fund, which was launched weeks after storms hit the area.

The Leeds City Natural Flood Management Programme will see an investment of £4.5m to introduce a range of practical measures to mimic natural flood protection, looking to slow water flow in the area, reducing the flood risk to over 1,000 homes and 200 business units.

The combined authority’s investment into the project, which is being developed by the White Rose Forest Partnership in conjunction with local authorities, amongst others, will reach £1.7m.

An investment of £4.17m into the Wyke Beck Valley Project will see new embankments and flood storage areas to reduce the risk of flooding to 60 homes in the Dunhill Estate, and make the development of 200 homes possible on brownfield sites in east Leeds.

Investment by the combined authority will eventually reach £2.6m.

Cllr Peter Box, chair if the WYCA investment committee, said: “As we’ve seen in our region in recent years, flooding can have a devastating impact on our economy and people’s lives.

“By progressing the flood alleviation schemes, WYCA can help reduce the risk of flooding to existing homes and businesses while also supporting the development of land for new homes and businesses and improving habitats that wildlife and local people can all enjoy.” 

Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, Roger Marsh, added: “The 2015 Boxing Day floods showed just how critical it is that businesses have protection from flooding if jobs are to be created and safeguarded and our economy is to flourish.”

He explained that partnership working across the region had enabled flood-affected firms to “get back on their feet,” and that these new schemes will do even more to protect homes and businesses under threat.

Top image: monkeybusinessimages

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