River Ouse flooding in the City of York

£200m to protect areas prone to flooding and coastal changes

A Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme has been announced today (9 Nov) in aid of helping communities improve resilience to flooding and coastal change.

A transformative £200 million has been pledged by government through the new programme and is to be managed by the Environment Agency.

25 areas will be selected to pilot innovative and creative approaches to advance resilience to flooding and coastal change.

This could entail planting trees and restoring peatland to lessen run-off into rivers or making changes in people’s homes so they can recover more quickly after flooding.

Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) and Coast Protection Authorities (CPAs) are being invited to express an interest in becoming one of these areas, with a deadline of 15 January 2021.

Each nominated area will receive approximately £6 million between 2021 and 2027. The funding is separate and in addition to the £5.2 billion programme investment in flood and sea defences announced by the government in the March budget. Areas will be selected based on a range of criteria, including repeated significant flooding in the past.

The rest of the money will support other flooding and coastal resilience activities including the expansion of long-term investment pathways in the Thames and Humber Estuaries, Yorkshire and the Severn Valley.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “The impact of flooding can be devastating, and even more so for those who have suffered repeatedly. Our ambitious new Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme will help communities test different approaches to become more resilient to flooding and coastal change alongside our record investment to build and maintain our flood defences.

“This funding will not only help to build long-term resilience in those 25 areas, but the evidence and learning from those projects will be used to inform future approaches to, and investments in, flood and coastal erosion risk management across the country.”

Environment Agency Chair, Emma Howard Boyd, said: “Most flood protection is created when it’s not raining. The homes and infrastructure built today should last 50 to 100 years, so while we prepare for flooding this winter, and create defences for the decades ahead, we also need to test resilience measures for a whole century of accelerating climate change.

“In delivering this programme the Environment Agency plans to provide excellent examples of domestic leadership on adaptation and resilience ahead of COP26.”

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