The Somerset Rivers Authority Annual Report 2019-20 has just been published – it showcases progress in reducing flood risks across Somerset including projects backed by HotSWLEP’s £13m Growth Deal Funding:
- Pioneer dredging done between Stathe and Burrowbridge, to help reduce flood risks across a large part of the Somerset Levels and Moors (see page 14 of the long report).
- A trial of innovative water injection dredging techniques for possible use between Northmoor and the M5 (page 15).
- Progress with plans for increasing the capacity of key parts of the River Sowy and King’s Sedgemoor Drain through work in these rivers’ channels and on their banks (pages 16-17), part of a programme to reduce across 150 square miles.
- Submission of application for the Transport and Works Act Order required to build the Bridgwater Tidal Barrier, which will protect at least 11,300 homes and 1,500 businesses. £2million of Growth Deal funding contributed by HotSW LEP through the Somerset River Authority (SRA) has helped to significantly accelerate this major project, which is led by the Environment Agency and Sedgemoor District Council. (pages 20-22).
- Taunton Strategic Flood Alleviation Improvements Scheme. In 2016-17 this had some Growth Deal funding. This scheme is currently focusing on three local interventions which between them will benefit more than 1,414 homes, businesses and important local facilities such as the district council offices and police station, BT exchange and French Weir surgery.
- A contribution of £100,000 of Growth Deal funding via the SRA is helping Wessex Water with a £1.8million scheme in Highbridge, installing a new surface water pumping station and new pipework. This will help to protect local properties from unpleasant sewer flooding (page 25).
- HotSW LEP financing is covered on page 67.
- Of the nearly £2.8million spent by the SRA in 2019-20, £1.304 million was Growth Deal funding from the LEP.
Dozens of places across Somerset have benefitted from extra flood protection and resilience works funded by the SRA. In 2019-20, nearly £2.8million was spent on actions designed to protect people, properties, businesses and roads, while also enhancing local environments.
Everybody in Somerset is affected directly or indirectly by issues with flooding, so the SRA invests in a wide range of actions countywide to reduce flood risks and increase local resilience when floods do occur. All works are additional to those carried out by other Flood Risk Management Authorities in Somerset.