Friday 28 June 2019 marked the official start of work on a major Environment Agency flood scheme for the town of Burton-upon-Trent. The £30 million project will reduce flood risk for 5,500 properties currently facing possible flooding from the River Trent, including 4,500 homes and 1,000 businesses.
The Environment Agency carried out a ground breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction phase. The event was attended by Environment Agency Chief Executive Sir James Bevan, Andrew Griffiths the MP for Burton & Uttoxeter, project partners and community representatives.
The project, which is funded by the Government with some Local Levy support, is part of the Environment Agency’s £2.6 billion investment programme into flood defences across the country, which will see an additional 300,000 homes better protected from 2015 to 2021. Joint venture Galliford Try and Black & Veatch have been awarded the contract to conduct the multi-million pound works.
The upcoming works will see improvements to parts of the 9km of existing flood walls and embankments. This will include creating deeper foundations and other adjustments, which together, will provide an ongoing level of protection to the surrounding area.
The upgraded defences will better safeguard homes and businesses from flooding for decades to come. In addition to the thousands of homes protected, this investment will support the ongoing economic growth of the town by reducing flood risk to 394km² of commercial land which sits behind the defence, in turn helping to safeguard 12,460 jobs in Burton.
The Environment Agency is also working with East Staffordshire Borough Council and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust on improvements for visitors and the environment within the Washlands, the large area of floodplain between the river and the town. This will include creating new wildlife habitats in the form of wetland areas and ponds, as well as installation of new lighting along the boardwalks and a new children’s play area.
Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, said: “This £30 million project will not only reduce flood risk to over 5,500 homes and businesses but will also boost the local economy by protecting thousands of jobs for decades to come.
“This project will also benefit local wildlife through the creation of new wetland areas and ponds, and a better space for local people through upgraded lighting along the boardwalks and a new children’s play area.
“We’ve all seen the devastating impact flooding can have on communities in recent weeks and that’s why we are continuing to invest £2.6 billion to better protect homes across the country.”
Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton & Uttoxeter said: “So many Burton residents will be relieved to see this scheme completed. This is a massive investment, and will protect thousands of homes from the misery of flooding for decades to come.”
The project is due to complete by spring 2021.
Along with flood defences and flood management schemes, knowing your flood risk is also important when protecting your family and property from flooding. People can check their risk and register to receive free flood warnings online or calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188.