Norfolk and Suffolk to share in £150m plan to tackle flooding

Heavy rain caused flooding in Long Stratton

Norfolk and Suffolk are to share in innovative technologies as part of a £150m scheme to beat flooding. A file picture of flooding in Long Stratton in December 2020. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Norfolk and Suffolk are to share in innovative technologies involving flood alert apps and "sponge" road surfaces as part of a £150m scheme to combat flooding.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced the multi-million pound package to be shared between 25 local schemes aiming to improve waterway defences and coastal resilience.

Norfolk and Suffolk are two of the 25 areas set to benefit from specialised innovative projects aimed at improving flood defences and coastal resilience.

No more details of local schemes for the two counties have been given.

The scheme is part of the government's new Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme - an effort to develop and test new approaches to tackling coastal erosion and mainland flooding.

The Environment Agency (EA) will manage the scheme in which a wide range of approaches tailored to local communities will be trialled.

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said the government has pledged to invest £5.2 billion in 2,000 new flood and coastal defences over the next six years.

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The minister insisted "long-term approaches to improve communities' resilience" is vital in the face of climate change.

She said: "These 25 projects will not only help to inform future approaches to prepare communities for flooding and coastal change across the country, but also help reinforce the UK's position as a world leader in innovation and new technology as we build back better."

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said the project is "extremely exciting" and could be replicated on a larger scale around the world if successful.

She said: "The innovation programme is extremely exciting as it begins to put new aspects of the national flood and coastal erosion risk strategy to the test.

"What we learn will inform our approach to the climate crisis in the coming decades and it's something to tell our international partners about at Cop26.

"I'm particularly interested in the projects that test the ability of nature-based projects to generate revenue.

"If successful, these could be scaled up by private finance around the world, helping to prepare for climate shocks, restore nature and create jobs."

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