Homes and businesses in Bewdley affected by devastating flooding during Storm Christoph in January 2021 are to be better protected with a £6.2m permanent defence, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced today (Tuesday 27 July).
Flooding Minister Rebecca Pow will visit Beales Corner to announce the scheme, which would replace temporary flood barriers and better protect around 31 homes and over 150 jobs from flooding once completed.
A further £4.5m will be invested in smaller projects within the Severn Valley to help tackle flooding in the long term, using natural flood management techniques such as floodplain reconnection, wetland creation, woody debris dams and woodland planting to ‘slow the flow’ of water upstream of Shrewsbury.
Flooding Minister Rebecca Pow said:
Flooding is a devastating experience as people in Bewdley know only too well.
The new Beales Corner scheme, combined with flood alleviation projects further up the Severn Valley, will help significantly reduce the risk of flooding in this area in future.
It’s just one part of our wider action on flooding supported by our commitment of a record-breaking £5.2 billion across England between now and 2027, to better protect hundreds of thousands more homes.
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said:
I know from meeting members of the community in Bewdley that flooding here is a constant worry.
The Environment Agency has made progress in tackling flooding in the Severn Valley and a permanent defence at Beales Corner, as well as schemes further upstream to slow water flow, will help better protect homes and businesses.
But, with climate change bringing more extreme weather, people need to be vigilant. I strongly urge people to sign up for flood warnings and regularly check flood risk on gov.uk.
Up to £10m will also be used to support the development of the Severn Valley Water Management scheme. This is a programme of measures and interventions across the upper Severn catchment to manage water and reduce flood risk to communities in the Severn Valley. It will identify a mixture of wide-scale land use change, nature-based interventions and engineered solutions, working with landowners and partners across the catchment.
Funding for this scheme is being made available through the Government’s £170m economic recovery funding package, announced last year, aimed at accelerating work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes across England.
The investment is in addition to the delivery of the Government’s record £5.2 billion programme to build around 2,000 new flood and coastal defences across England by 2027, with Defra and the Environment Agency set to announce more details on its six-year investment plan for England in the coming days.