The development of coastal defence throughout the UK is crucial in order to protect local communities
from damages, which occur from torrential weather.
Between now and March 2021, the government is set to invest £2.3 billion in more than 1,500 projects across the UK. The programme of work this generous funding will be supporting will reduce flood risk for more than 300,000 households by 2021. Households at risk will begin to benefit from improved forecasting, mapping, telemetry and flood warnings to help prevent further damage at an earlier stage. This will also create more work and potential job growth for defence contractors in the UK.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer agreed to bring forward £60 million of the £2.3 billion budget, which was announced in the Autumn Statement back in 2014. Initially, the Environmental Agency (EA) was to allocate this portion of the funding over the next 6 years, but instead will be able to access it over the next four years.
Flood and coastal erosion risk projects that have better management, could also free up around £80 million of the overall budget over the duration of the funding. This has allowed EA to allocate over £140 million from within the existing budget, to schemes taking place until 2021.
Making this funding available sooner and compiling the savings from better project management has a positive impact and in total 212 projects will benefit from these results. Additional benefits include:
- 47 new projects are now placed in the six year programme
- 80 projects will be able to start at least three years earlier than originally planned
- 165 projects already in the programme will receive their funding sooner
In total £235 million planned savings are through new and more efficient working, all of which is to be re-invested in managing flood risk. The funding is split fairly evenly, with 45% spent on coastal flood and erosion risk management. The other 55% is to be delegated to inland flood risk management.
The good news doesn’t stop there however, with additional benefits to the society reaping in £30.3 billion of capital investment for various sectors: risk reduction to the agriculture sector, improving biodiversity and local environments, as well as many long term advantages to transports, commerce and industry.