‘A new economic dawn’ - More than £43m to be pumped into protecting coastal town from flooding
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Tens of millions of pounds are to be pumped into protecting the country’s most easterly point from flooding in a bid to usher in “a new economic dawn” for the town.
The government has announced that East Suffolk Council is to receive more than £43m to build tidal flood walls and a tidal barrier to protect Lowestoft from flooding.
The award is the largest chunk of a £170m war chest geared at protecting homes, businesses and jobs from flooding by 2027.
The £43,486,439 share will fund an innovative flood defence programme, which will see glass flood walls built at South Pier, aiming to protect the town for generations to come.
Steve Gallant, leader of East Suffolk Council, said: “Lowestoft is worth investing in. Its location on the coast and the flood risks that presents have been preventing it from becoming one of the UK’s greatest economic successes.
“The award of this funding will allow us to protect people and their hopes and, significantly, reduce the risk of flooding to more than 825 businesses, unlocking further growth, creating jobs and apprenticeships and securing the future of Lowestoft for generations to come.”
Mr Gallant added that it is hoped the new defences will safeguard the town from repeats of the 2013 storm surge, which saw it devastated by flooding.
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He added: “Lowestoft has had no formal flood defences and was severely impacted by the 2013 storm surge.
“The tidal barrier and sea walls will prevent the devastating floods we experienced in December 2013 happening again.
“We see this award of funding as heralding a new economic dawn for our town, our people and our businesses.”
The government’s investment will also see almost £4m used to fund a flood management scheme in Benacre and Kessingland.
Announcing the fund, 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.
Work on the scheme is expected to get under way in 2021, with a target completion date of 2023.