30th July 2019
A project that will see three new jobs created to raise awareness of flooding and how to reduce flood risk in Yorkshire has been enabled thanks to a £574,000 grant.
Council, will work with communities, planning and construction professionals, the construction industry and the insurance sector.
The initiative will encourage greater uptake of property flood resilience measures across the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee area.
It will also establish a community hub and learning laboratory in the centre of Hull at Wilberforce Sixth Form College, working with existing projects and initiatives in the area, and provide staff to deliver a large scale training programme.
This will include a physical demonstration project that can be adapted to showcase property flood resilience measures. It will be sustained and continued via the ongoing Living with Water project.
Property-level flood resilience can include a range of measures to reduce the damage that flooding can cause to buildings.
This can include installing flood doors, hard floors and ensuring that electrics are raised off ground level around the home.
The measures can significantly reduce the amount of time people are out of their home following a flood.
The project will also link up with ongoing flood schemes, including those in Calderdale, Leeds, York and Sheffield, to utilise existing best practice, such as Living with Water and the Eye on Calderdale initiative.
The three staff will deliver 600 days of training events across Yorkshire.
Councillor Paula Widdowson, executive member for environment and climate change at City of York Council said: “The confirmed funding for the Yorkshire Future Flood Resilience Pathfinder project is fantastic news and we are looking forward to leading this project which is about increasing flood resilience in properties across Yorkshire.
“By working closely with our partners in the Yorkshire Flood and Coastal Committee area, we will use this funding to raise awareness, understanding and take-up of property flood resilience measures to help better protect homes and businesses.”
Councillor Mike Thompson, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods and communities at Hull City Council, said: “We are delighted to be part of this Yorkshire-wide initiative, and have worked closely with our partners across the board to make this happen.
“As an area with the second highest level of flood risk in England combined the increasing threat of climate change, our city has plenty of challenges. This fund will help in our mission to address climate change, coupled with becoming a water resilient city through our work with the Living with Water partnership.
“Hull’s historic relationship with water is unique, so we are pleased to see that our city will host a lab-based learning facility that will establish ways in which we can engage with communities and the construction industry to embed water resilience into new and existing developments.”
The project will be delivered with support from the Environment Agency, the non-departmental body responsible for managing flood risk in England, and representatives of the insurance and construction industries.
The Environment Agency will also monitor the projects to highlight successes and identify lessons that can be used to foster greater use of property flood resilience measures elsewhere across the country.
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: “This new funding is a welcome step forwards for our efforts to boost the uptake of property-level resilience measures in homes and businesses across the country.
“The Environment Agency will work closely with the local authorities and organisations taking forward the Pathfinder projects to support their work and share lessons learnt.
“Our experience shows that making these small changes in the home can make a huge difference to people’s lives when flooding takes place.”
The funding is part of a £3 million government investment announced by Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey this week that will help better protect a number of communities across England from flooding.
As well as the funding for Yorkshire, a grant was also awarded to communities in the South West and the Oxford-Cambridge ‘arc’.
Minister Coffey said: “I am delighted to award funding to the pathfinder flood resilience projects in the Ox-Cam arc, Yorkshire and the South West.
“I expect the councils and organisations involved will increase the take up of property resilience measures by home owners and businesses, making their properties safer, and quicker to return to if flooding does happen.”
Building greater resilience into our homes, businesses and infrastructure forms one of the core themes of the Environment Agency’s Draft Flood and Coastal Risk Management Strategy, looking at how we can prepare for increased climate risk over the next 100 years.
The Government is currently investing a record £2.6 billion to better protect 300,000 homes and thousands of business from flooding and coastal erosion between 2015 and 2021.