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Flood defences in Wales to get funding boost

FUNDS of £36m will be given to Welsh councils and Natural Resources Wales to help reduce the risk of flooding and coastal erosion.

It will help the authorities invest in new flood defences, maintenance works and natural flood management schemes.

The funds come after a series of floods throughout the year which have left many homes and businesses in serious need of repair. Over the last Senedd term, the Welsh Government has invested more than £390m to help combat the risk of flooding and coastal erosion, benefitting more than 45,000 properties.

Included with this is more than £150m to support the Coastal Risk Management Programme.

£17m will go to Natural Resources Wales as part of the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Programme, more than £7m of this will be to cover core flood activities including maintenance and mapping projects.

£19m will go to the local authorities.

£29.4m of revenue will also be given to support the wider work of the Risk Management Authorities which includes staffing, outreach and maintenance activities. This will bring the total investment for the 2021/22 year to £65.4m.

Some of the FCERM programme from last year will continue into 2021/22 and these include:

  • Maintaining support for WLGA; the Wales Coastal Monitoring Centre and the Flood and Coastal Erosion Committee.
  • 100 per cent grant funding for local authorities to prepare new schemes, including business cases, consultations and design work (this approach saw applications increase by a third from 2020/21).
  • Increasing the funding contribution for delivering coastal projects from 75 per cent to 85 per cent.
  • 100 per cent funding for the Natural Flood Management (NFM) Programme – using sustainable methods to curb flood risk, with 15 projects ongoing worth £2.8m.
  • £4m for repairs to damaged flood alleviation assets – in addition to £5m provided last year.
  • £4m to support the Small Scale Works Grant, allowing local authorities to tackle flood risk through smaller flood alleviation schemes – supporting 86 projects across Wales, and benefitting more than 1,700 properties.

Minister for environment, energy and rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “Last year, we saw terrible scenes of flooding throughout Wales – with some communities affected on more than one occasion.

“The Covid-19 pandemic meant the impact of flooding was even harder to deal with than usual and responding to floods became more difficult.

“As Wales looks to tackle the root causes of the climate emergency, we also have to deal with its effects, and help communities in responding to the increased likelihood of severe weather events. Sadly, ‘once in a lifetime’ flooding events are no longer once in a lifetime.

“This record £65.4m funding provided through our Flood and Coastal Risk Management Programme for 2021/22 will help support communities across Wales as they respond to increased flood risk and comes at the end of a Senedd term which has seen record funding in flood and coastal schemes.

“This has been a key priority for the Welsh Government throughout this term, and I am proud of the record we have in reducing the risk to communities across Wales from the devastating effects of flooding and coastal erosion.”

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