Environment Protection: Coastal Areas

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

(1) whether his Department allocates funding to coastal local authorities for tackling the effects of coastal erosion;

(2) how much his Department spent on tackling coastal erosion in each of the last five years.

Photo of Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Marine and Natural Environment)

The majority of the investment for all flood and coastal erosion risk management activity is now delivered through grants from DEFRA to the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency invests directly in coastal flood risk management and also gives grants to local authorities and internal drainage boards.

The following table shows the grants that were allocated to coastal local authorities for coastal erosion risk management in the last five financial years. Levels of grant allocation for coastal erosion in part reflect the number and nature of schemes coming forward in any one year. For example, 2006-07 and 2007-08 were characterised by a number of large schemes such as that in Blackpool which was allocated £12 million and £17 million in 2006-07 and 2007-08 respectively.

£ million
2005-06 52
2006-07 65.7
2007-08 49
2008-09 32
2009-10 30

DEFRA website and Environment Agency financial records.

Local authorities can also fund coastal erosion risk management using a number of sources, including central Government specific grants, council tax and formula grant from central Government. The following table gives final outturn estimates of local authority revenue expenditure and financing (i.e. formula grant) for coast protection for the last five financial years. Further details on this expenditure are not held centrally.

Local authority revenue outturn for coast protection, net current expenditure
£ million
2005-06 13.8
2006-07 13.6
2007-08 14.5
2008-09 14.8
2009-10 (1)14.3
(1) Budget not outturn.


Department for Communities and Local Government, revenue expenditure and financing statistics.

The Government have also directly allocated £11 million funding to 15 coastal local authorities through the coastal change pathfinder programme that was announced in December 2009. The pathfinders, working in partnership with their local communities, are exploring a range of new and innovative approaches to help communities adapt to the effects of coastal change (including coastal erosion).

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