Builders get behind flood defense scheme

Construction firms are set to work closely with the Government to repair a range of major flood defences, following the severe winter weather.

Ministers have announced that a multi-million-pound scheme is currently being rolled out, in an effort to repair some of the damage caused in key areas of the Midlands.

Torrential rain and high winds led to tidal flooding in many parts of the UK at the turn of the year, while a number of rivers broke their banks, disrupting transport networks and hitting people’s homes.

According to data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), around 17,500 flood-related claims were submitted to insurance firms between December 23 last year and the end of February.

In order to mitigate the threat of flooding this winter, employers in the construction industry have thrown their weight behind the new £4.5 million Midlands repair scheme.

Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire are among the locations where building firms are now undertaking repairs.

Work on the Priding flood wall in Framilode, which aims to protect properties when the River Severn breaks its banks, is already complete, according to the Government.

Meanwhile, efforts have also been made to restore 150 metres of a damaged flood embankment in Hampton Bishop, Herefordshire. Repairs have additionally been made on another flood embankment situated at Ark Corner in Melverley, Shropshire.

Work will begin on three other major projects later this summer, with sites in Minsterworth, the Rea Flood Bank, and the Lapper Ditch Outfall in Gloucestershire due to benefit.

According to the Government, all the projects currently being undertaken should be completed by October, before the worst of the winter weather hits the UK.

Phil Foxley from the Environment Agency said the programme will run alongside his organisation’s annual routine maintenance and inspection scheme.

He said: “This significant programme of maintenance and repair work is extremely important as it means our flood defences can continue to reduce the risk of flooding to the communities that they protect.”

Back in March, the ABI suggested that insurers had paid out £446 million to consumers and business owners, as a result of the severe winter weather conditions.