Flood Action Plan leaders welcome cash boost

Leaders of agencies working to reduce the risk and impact of flooding in Somerset today welcomed Government investment of £13 million into the county’s 20 Year Flood Action Plan.

£3.55m of Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSWLEP) Growth Deal funding has been awarded for flooding alleviation works in Somerset in 2015-16, with a further £9.5m for the years up to 2021.

Planned works include increasing the capacity of the River Sowy, land management and further dredging.

Somerset’s Leaders Implementation Group, which is spearheading work on the Flood Action Plan, said today (3 June, 2014) that the money would make a big difference and was a significant step forward.

“Much of the work set out in the plan has yet to be funded so this is great news,” said Cllr John Osman, Chair of the Leaders Implementation Group and Leader of Somerset County Council.

“Without the money we cannot make the Plan a reality and this considerable sum will allow many things to move forward. The actions in the Plan cannot stop flooding, but they can reduce the frequency, duration and severity of flooding and we want to drive the work forwards as soon as we can.”

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson visited the Somerset Levels and Moors today to announce Growth Fund investment across the region.

Somerset’s Flood Action Plan will guide water and land management policies and investment for the next 20 years.

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