Construction work has begun on an innovative scheme to improve Tilbury’s flood defences with the installation of new dual-function flood lock gates.
In a project of national importance, the current port lock gates will be replaced with ground-breaking dual function lock gates, and the Environment Agency’s tidal barrier will be removed.
This is a huge collaborative project between the Environment Agency and The Port of Tilbury that will safeguard thousands of homes and businesses in the local area.
Work began in January and is predicted to last for 18 months with the new lock gates planned for installation in late 2021/early 2022.
Once the vital work is completed it will guarantee a high standard of flood protection for Tilbury and provide a new navigation lock for operations at the busy port.
Planning for this project has been underway with the Environment Agency and the Port of Tilbury for several years.
With the total scheme cost amounting to around £34 million, the Port of Tilbury London Ltd is providing a multi-million-pound input to the project and will take charge of operations and maintenance of the new dual-function structure.
Funding has also been secured from the Anglian (Eastern) Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. Councillor Gerard Rice represents Thurrock Council on this Committee.
The Environment Agency’s Thames Estuary Asset Management 2100 Programme (TEAM2100) will deliver the work in partnership with several contractors including Jacobs and Balfour Beatty.
Sir James Bevan, Environment Agency Chief Executive said: “We are investing £5.2 billion in flood defences over the next 6 years. The Port of Tilbury is vital to our national economy. The new scheme is an important and exciting project that has both flood protection and navigational purpose and will help protect jobs and growth.
“The Tilbury barrier will reduce flood risk for the port, residents and business. It is a key part of the Environment Agency’s new Flood Strategy, which aims to make the country resilient to flooding and coastal change – today, tomorrow and the year 2100.”
Charles Hammond OBE, Group Chief Executive of Forth Ports (owners of the Port of Tilbury) said: “This is a vital strategic project for not only the port but to safeguard the local community from any flood threat. We have worked with the Environment Agency for many years to carefully plan this major project and it is through this successful collaboration that this innovative scheme will become a reality.”