The Government has announced £62.35M of additional funding for flood defence schemes in England. Much of this will benefit projects across the Northern Powerhouse. Tadcaster has done especially well with £9M from the total of £62.35M.
Nigel Adams, MP for Tadcaster “This £9 million announcement is fantastic news for Tadcaster and I want to thank the outgoing floods minister Therese Coffey MP for listening to the case we put, to not only fund the preparatory designs, but fund the new flood scheme for the town. The announcement comes after months of meetings And discussions with DEFRA and the Environment Agency. I am also very grateful for the input of the Tadcaster Flood Action Group, North Yorkshire County Council and the LEP.
The amount of Government funding for a Tadcaster flood scheme including design work is now £10.02 million and following the terrible events of 2015, Tadcaster can at last look forward to enhanced flood protection.”
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said: “I am delighted to announce over £60m of additional funding to better protect communities which are vulnerable to flooding, particularly across parts of northern England. 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.”
David Bewley, a member of the Tadcaster Flood Action Group, and local business owner said “The Flood Group is delighted that Government has allocated £9million for Tadcaster flood defences. We are very proud to have played a part over the last three years in supporting Nigel Adams MP in making the case. We met with the Flood Minister on a number of occasions and were able to explain the impact of flooding on homes and businesses in Tadcaster.”
The floods in December 2015, caused the historic bridge to collapse and caused serious damage to 79 homes and businesses. This was just one incident in the town which has a has a history of flooding with each event having disastrous consequences. It was the regularity of the flooding that was an important consideration in allocating funds to Tadcaster. It is now nearly 4 years since the flooding of 2015 and since then a lot of progress has already been made to improve flood resilience in the town and towards building a new scheme. Earlier this year £1.02M of funding was provided by the Local Enterprise Partnership to enable detailed design work for a new scheme. Tadcaster is a historic town and the River Wharfe with historic buildings and breweries forming part of the town’s heritage.
Following the collapse of the bridge in 2015 it was rebuilt with local stone and made wider. The repair included rebuilding the stone arches in the traditional manner. The challenge for designers of the flood scheme is now to design a flood defence scheme which enhances the historic character of the town, adds to the attractiveness of the riverside area with views of the historic church and stone viaduct in the distance. Most importantly, the new scheme must protect the town against future flooding events.
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency and UK Commissioner on the Global Commission on Adaptation said: “This extra funding will help us to go even further in our mission to better protect communities up and down the country from the terrible effects of flooding. We will work closely with these communities to design and build projects which not only reduce flood risk but which also benefit wildlife and the local economy for decades to come.”
Nigel Adams said “ This is very good news for Tadcaster. Now that the money has been allocated I will be working hard to ensure that the scheme is designed, consulted on and planning approval given so that the town can benefit for improved flood protection as soon as possible”.