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Homes and businesses across the country – including in East Cowes – will be better protected and more resilient in future as the Government reveals its long-term plan to tackle the risks of flooding and coastal erosion.

The measures set out in the new plan are the most comprehensive in a decade, including investment of £5.2 billion to create around 2,000 new flood and coastal defences to better protect 336,000 properties in England by 2027, alongside support to help households and businesses get back on their feet more quickly after flooding.

Up to £170million will be spent to accelerate work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes that will begin construction in 2020 or 2021. 22 areas across the country will benefit from this immediate boost to jobs supporting the local economy as communities recover from the impact of coronavirus

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One such project is the East Cowes Flood Risk Management Scheme, which has been awarded £500,000. This scheme will see the reduction in risk of tidal flooding to encourage economic growth in East Cowes, both through additional protection for properties and businesses in the town – including the ferry terminal and GKN Aerospace – but also increased resilience measures.

The plans also include £200million for innovative projects such as sustainable drainage systems and nature-based solutions such as temporary or permanent water storage areas which also boost wildlife. These will support 25 areas at risk of flooding to test and demonstrate innovative actions to adapt to a changing climate and improve their resilience.

The government’s ambitious long-term plan sets out 5 key commitments – supported by over 40 clear actions – which will accelerate progress to better protect and better prepare the country for the coming years:

  1. Upgrading and expanding flood defences and infrastructure across the country;
  2. Managing the flow of water to both reduce flood risk and manage drought;
  3. Harnessing the power of nature to not only reduce flood risk, but deliver benefits for the environment, nature, and communities;
  4. Better preparing communities for when flooding and erosion does occur; and
  5. Ensuring every area of England has a comprehensive local plan for dealing with flooding and coastal erosion.

The plan will see the delivery of flood and coastal defences to prevent £32bn in economic damage, the creation of areas to store water during flooding and greater use of nature based solutions to reduce flood risk.

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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.

“Our record investment will also stimulate economic growth across the UK as we build back better.”

Environment Secretary George Eustice said:

“The devastating impacts of last winter’s flooding were an important reminder of the need to continue to invest and accelerate action to reduce the impact of flooding on our communities.

“Our record investment and ambitious policies will better protect homes, schools, hospitals and businesses, but we also recognise that we cannot prevent flooding entirely, which is why we will ensure that communities at high risk are more resilient.

“Working closely with the Environment Agency, local authorities, business and the third sector we will create a better protected and prepared nation.”

Welcoming the news, Bob Seely MP said:

“East Cowes is one of 22 shovel-ready flood defence projects to receive this investment from the Government which is great news for East Cowes and the Island.

“The Government has chosen to invest in flood defences in East Cowes because of the strong economic benefits it will bring by protecting jobs and businesses.

“We have seen the effects of flooding on homes and businesses over the years, so I’m delighted that we have been able to secure funding.

“This investment in East Cowes is in addition to last week’s news that the IW Council has agreed to press ahead with its purchase of Venture Quays to protect jobs in the area.”

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What a waste of money who cares

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