Eastbourne to be part of a £150 million trial flood management scheme

Eastbourne is among the 25 areas selected to trial a new flood management scheme costing £150 million.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 12:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 1:05 pm

The flood forecasting and natural flood management scheme works through an app keeping residents in the loop on flood alerts, permeable road surfaces to improve drainage and schemes to protect sand dune beaches.

On March 29, £150 million of funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) was given to the scheme launched across England which will be led by local authorities and delivered over the next six years.

This funding is part of the government’s new Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme.

According to Defra, Eastbourne will see the introduction of new technologies to tackle surface water flooding like having road surfaces that absorb water more.

Local digital equipment will also be installed for monitoring water-levels to keep an eye on flood risk and local surface water flooding, Defra says.

The work will be led by Eastbourne Borough Council and overseen by the Environment Agency.

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said, “We’re investing a record £5.2 billion in 2,000 new flood and coastal defences over the next six years – but with the effects of climate change already being felt it’s vital that we combine this with long-term approaches to improve communities’ resilience.

“These 25 projects will not only help to inform future approaches to prepare communities for flooding and coastal change across the country, but also help reinforce the UK’s position as a world leader in innovation and new technology as we build back better.”

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said, “The innovation programme is extremely exciting as it begins to put new aspects of the national flood and coastal erosion risk strategy to the test. What we learn will inform our approach to the climate crisis in the coming decades and it’s something to tell our international partners about at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

“I’m particularly interested in the projects that test the ability of nature-based projects to generate revenue. If successful, these could be scaled up by private finance around the world, helping to prepare for climate shocks, restore nature and create jobs.

“The funding is in addition to the government’s record £5.2 billion investment in new flood and coastal defences to better protect 336,000 properties across England by 2027.

“The 25 areas have been selected following an expressions of interest process managed by Defra and the Environment Agency and assessed by an independent expert panel.”