Hull awarded extra £12m for River Hull flood defence improvements
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 28 Mar 2018
Hull has snared nearly £12m to further boost its flood defences along the River Hull.
The city has received a huge cut of the £36m UK-wide funding pot announced by ministers on Tuesday morning, with a third of the total spend being used to protect 475 Hull homes.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said Hull's £11.8m, announced as part of November’s Autumn Budget, would support the second phase of protections along the river, with work due to start by April 2019.
The project would “protect homes, businesses, infrastructure and areas of cultural importance within the city”, said the Conservative minister.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed the money will allow the second phase of the River Hull defences upgrade to be carried out "seamlessly" after phase one has been completed.
Due to the cash injection, phase two will be accelerated by two years, brought forward from its original scheduling for 2021-24, and will focus on improving 18 defences along the river, said a spokesman for the Whitehall department.
Phase one of the River Hull project started in 2016, with 39 sections of defence to be improved over a 7.5km stretch of the river.
Engineers last month said they were a third of the way through the £36.5m construction work which has seen defences both reinforced and newly-built between the city centre and north of Stoneferry Bridge. They are expected to keep rising waters at bay for the next 50 years.
An extra £12m has been awarded to improve River Hull flood defences (Image: Environment Agency)
The Environment Agency described the River Hull defences as "patchwork" with some put in place by nearby businesses over the years, many which are now at risk of failing.
As part of the Government's £36m flood funding announcement on Tuesday, March 27, a total of 25 schemes nationally were awarded cash – but Hull received at least £7m more than any other scheme. The second largest amount was £4.8m awarded to improve flood defences in Bath.
The Government said it had worked with the Environment Agency to prioritise the areas that would get the “most benefit” from the money.
Junior minister Ms Coffey said: “This funding will benefit projects across the country from Hull to Gloucester, from Wolverhampton to the Wirral, that need an extra boost for flood defences to help our communities continue to prosper and grow in the future.
“Not only will this investment make places more resilient against flooding, but it will help the local economy, enhance the natural environment and protect important areas of culture – whether it is the homes, businesses and cultural sites in Hull to the pier in Seahouses or the natural environment in Gloucester.”
Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said: “In the face of challenges like a changing climate, rising sea levels and more severe weather, the Environment Agency is working hard to protect people, homes and businesses from flooding.
“As with every project we undertake, we’re also striving to improve our environment and this additional funding will not only help us build flood defences, but restore vital habitat and bring nature back to some of our urban communities.”
In the Autumn Budget, the Chancellor announced £76m to be spent on flood and coastal defences – £36m for new schemes, such as the River Hull phase two project, and £40m to boost local regeneration in deprived communities at high flood risk.
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