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Fred Searle

BY FRED SEARLE

Defra pledges £62m to flooding programmes

Severe summer floods in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Cumbria spark investment in flood defences and economic regenaration

Defra pledges £62m to flooding programmes

Lincolnshire suffered crippling downpours in early June

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Defra secretary Theresa Villiers has announced a £62 million boost for flooding programmes in England following torrential rainfall in parts of the country this summer.

Thirteen projects across Yorkshire, Cumbria, the North East and the South East will benefit from a share of the funding, which will be used to develop existing flood defences and boost economic regeneration in those areas. 

Many of the projects are located in communities which suffered from the severe flooding during the winter of 2015, with 11 projects across the north of England, including seven in Yorkshire, four in Cumbria and Lancashire and two in the North East.

The funding will also allocate £6.3m to projects in Essex and Lincolnshire, with brassica growers in the latter hit hard by record rainfall in June 2019, causing shortages of cauliflower, sprouts and white and red cabbages.

Villiers said: “Events this summer have shown that investing in flood risk management is more important than ever, and this funding builds on our long-standing £2.6 billion commitment to better protect 300,000 homes from flooding and coastal erosion over six years.”

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) claimed it had “won for rural communities” since the announcement followed a joint CLA and NFU letter to Defra calling for government action to mitigate the impact of future floods.

CLA president Tim Breitmeyer said:“Following the major floods in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lincolnshire over the summer, we wrote to Thérèse Coffey outlining the need for long-term policies to prevent and mitigate the impacts of similar scale flooding events across the country.

“Highlighting the huge farming and economic losses that were felt locally, we also urged the government to recognise that climate change will make major floods more common and that farmers, working on tight margins, are in a particularly vulnerable position.

“We hope that the new minister will continue to engage with us on our ideas to deliver a robust farming sector which can deal with all the impacts of flash flooding.”

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