Flood Control: West Yorkshire

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 12th February 2021.

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Photo of Andrea Jenkyns Andrea Jenkyns Conservative, Morley and Outwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to improve flood defences in West Yorkshire.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Starting in April 2021, the Government will invest a record £5.2 billion in a six-year capital investment programme for flood defences. This investment will deliver around 2,000 flood schemes, benefiting every region of the country, and will better protect 336,000 properties from flooding.

In July 2020 we committed funding of up to £170 million to accelerate work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes that will begin construction before the end 2021/2022. This funding will provide an immediate boost to jobs supporting the local economy as communities recover from the impact of coronavirus. The Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme has been awarded £12 million to contribute to this ambitious plan by better protecting approximately 4500 jobs and 1000 businesses.

In Leeds, the Government will provide up to £21 million for the Leeds Phase 2 Flood Alleviation Scheme which will protect more than 370 businesses and 3.300 jobs. This is subject to a satisfactory business case approved by Defra and HMT. The Government will also provide £1,320,000 for the Leeds Natural Flood Management Scheme. This brings the Government's total investment in Leeds to more than £100 million to help prevent a repeat of the 2015 Boxing Day floods.

Since 2015/16, there has been £158 million of investment in West Yorkshire better protecting homes, business and critical infrastructure against flooding. This includes areas in West Yorkshire that have suffered severe flooding in recent years, such as Mytholmroyd on the River Calder, where over 400 homes have been better protected, and Leeds on the River Aire, where over 3,000 homes and 500 businesses have been better protected. This investment has been made up of £107 million government funding and £51 million of other external contributions.

For the next 6 years, there is planned investment of £255 million. This is made up of £146 million government funding with £109 million of external contributions required. Some of this additional funding has already been secured or identified and the Environment Agency will continue to work with partners to secure the remaining funding. This programme aims to better protect almost 7,000 more homes across West Yorkshire and deliver wider economic benefits of over £2.5 billion.

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