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Government dedicates £36 million to new UK flood defence schemes

By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather staff writer
March 30, 2018, 7:51:07 AM EDT

After the Autumn Statement promised to improve the United Kingdom’s flood defences, the Environment Minister has announced 25 new schemes which will share £36 million in funds.

The improvements are expected to protect thousands of homes from flooding, enhance the environment and bolster economic growth and tourism.

Environment Minister Thérèse 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."

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“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.”

The government and Environment Agency has prioritized the areas that will get the most benefit.

Hull, which will receive £12 million, marks one of the biggest beneficiaries.

The funds will help improve defences along the River Hull to protect homes, businesses, infrastructure and areas of cultural importance within the city.

The funds will support the second phase of a project which started in 2016.

Berwick-upon-Tweed is set to benefit from £2.9 million to regenerate the main pier in Seahouses’ harbour.

Gloucester will see £1.2 million to restore and improve river habitats along the Sud Brook and River Twyer.

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Meanwhile, new wetlands and flood reservoirs will be constructed in Derby thanks to £300,000.

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 £76 million to be spent on flood and coastal defences.

In addition to the £36 million for new schemes, £40 million was promised to boost local regeneration in deprived communities at high flood risk.

By 2021, government investment in flood defences will total £2.6 billion.

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