Lowestoft secures funding it needs for flood defences

Environment secretary Liz Truss visits Lowestoft.

Environment secretary Liz Truss visits Lowestoft. - Credit: Nick Butcher

After more than a year of campaigning and lobbying since the devastating tidal surge, it can today be revealed that the £25million funding needed for long-awaited permanent flood protection for Lowestoft's coastline is now finally in place – bringing the much-needed project a step closer.

Repeated calls have been made for the town to have long-term flood defences to protect homes and businesses ever since the town was hit by the December 2013 storms.

A prolonged period of lobbying led to environment secretary Elizabeth Truss committing £7million of government funding to the scheme on a visit to the town last year, with Suffolk County Council pitching in another £3million. But that was only a third of the cost of what was then estimated to be a £30million project, with money from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) dependent on whether cash for the rest of the scheme could be found.

However the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has now committed £10million from its growth fund. Other funds, including £2.6million from the Anglian Eastern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee flood levy fund and about £1million from Waveney District Council – which is going towards project development costs – have also been committed.

The original cost estimate was also based on a more complicated design – meaning that with a simpler solution the project is now expected to be cheaper, costing nearer to between £20million and £25million.

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Waveney MP Peter Aldous said it was a 'real boost for Lowestoft', adding: 'I am delighted we now have a firm commitment to the funding we need to deliver this important scheme.' However he said: 'The next step now is the building of it.'

See the full story in Friday's Lowestoft Journal

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