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£12 million investment for flood defences in Hebden Bridge

The measures have been set out in a new UK-wide scheme.

Homes and businesses in Hebden Bridge will be better protected and more resilient in future after the government revealed its long-term plan to tackle the risks of flooding and coastal erosion.

The £12 million pounds investment will provide better protection in the Calder Valley, which was badly affected by flooding last winter, with extra protection along the river while being sympathetic to the importance of the river in the picturesque town, and increasing the resilience of businesses.

The measures have been set out in a new UK-wide scheme, which is thought to be the most comprehensive in a decade, including investment of £5.2 billion to create around 2,000 new flood and coastal defences to better protect 336,000 properties in England by 2027, alongside support to help households and businesses get back on their feet more quickly after flooding.

The plans also include £200m for innovative projects such as sustainable drainage systems and nature-based solutions like temporary or permanent water storage areas which also boost wildlife. These will support 25 areas at risk of flooding to test and demonstrate innovative actions to adapt to a changing climate and improve their resilience.

In addition, up to £170m will be spent to accelerate work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes that will begin construction in 2020 or 2021. 22 areas across the country will benefit from this immediate boost to jobs supporting the local economy as communities recover from the impact of coronavirus.

The government’s ambitious long-term plan sets out five key commitments – supported by over 40 clear actions - which will accelerate progress to better protect and better prepare the country for the coming years:

1.    Upgrading and expanding flood defences and infrastructure across the country;

2.    Managing the flow of water to both reduce flood risk and manage drought;

3.    Harnessing the power of nature to not only reduce flood risk, but deliver benefits for the environment, nature, and communities;

4.    Better preparing communities for when flooding and erosion does occur; and

5.    Ensuring every area of England has a comprehensive local plan for dealing with flooding and coastal erosion.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Last winter I saw for myself the misery and upheaval that flooding can bring to lives and livelihoods and I said we would do more to help people.

“This long-term plan will help push back the flood waters and protect hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses and livelihoods.

“Our record investment will also stimulate economic growth across the UK as we build back better.”

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “The devastating impacts of last winter’s flooding were an important reminder of the need to continue to invest and accelerate action to reduce the impact of flooding on our communities.

“Our record investment and ambitious policies will better protect homes, schools, hospitals and businesses, but we also recognise that we cannot prevent flooding entirely, which is why we will ensure that communities at high risk are more resilient.

“Working closely with the Environment Agency, local authorities, business and the third sector we will create a better protected and prepared nation.”

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