£150m for local areas to trial flood responses


Twenty-five areas across England have been selected to receive a share of a £150m fund to develop new flooding responses.

The council-led projects will be funded by environment department Defra as part of the Government’s new Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme and will be managed by the Environment Agency.

They include apps alerting residents to flooding, permeable road surfaces to improve drainage and schemes to protect vital sand dune beaches,


Defra said the road surface project - in Slough - 'will take the innovative Chinese sponge city concept to address the challenges of surface water and river flooding in a heavily urbanised environment'. This will include permeable road surfacing, green roofs and natural vegetation that better drains and manages rainwater.

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said: ‘We’re investing a record £5.2bn 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 COP26.

‘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 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.’

This article first appeared on localgov.co.uk.

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