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Additional £16million to protect Sheffield from flooding

Road with cars next to a river in Sheffield

Sheffield is set to receive an additional £16 million for the city's flood defence programme, following the Government's new multi-billion pound investment plan, announced on Tuesday (14 July).

Sheffield City Council has welcomed the announcement, which will support the continued delivery of its important plans to protect the city from the effects of flooding.

The extra funding is awarded to the Upper Don Valley Phase 2 scheme that will protect the Neepsend and Kelham districts of the city, together with a significant contribution to natural flood management (NFM) measures in the uplands above the city. The scheme’s £9million Phase 1, which covers the Lower Loxley area, is due to start next month.

The funding recognises the work that the Council and the EA have been doing in advancing Sheffield’s flood defence schemes to a position where they are ready for delivery.

To protect Sheffield from extreme flood events such as those witnessed last winter, the Council and Environment Agency approach is a combination of traditional defences and natural ‘slowing the flow’ measures in the uplands. This approach delivered significant benefits during last winter’s storms in preventing a repeat of the devastating 2007 floods from happening again in Sheffield’s lower Don valley.

Natural flood management helps to alleviate flooding through reducing surface flow. Various natural alleviation methods are being used in Sheffield including tree planting, peat and soil restoration and the formation of temporary ponds.

Councillor Mark Jones, Cabinet Member for Environment, Streetscene and climate change at Sheffield City Council, said: "This funding is welcome news for Sheffield. We have proven the importance of a strong flood defence programme, delivering the robust schemes that protected thousands of homes and hundreds of businesses, during the 2019 floods.

"This funding highlights the strength, and the confidence nationally in our plans, as well as the successful working partnerships we have forged with the Environment Agency and other flood management organisations.

"Natural Flood Management is at the heart of our flood mitigations, and will add to our Net Zero 2030 Carbon targets.

"Although we have seen positive results, the effects of climate change will only increase the threat of flooding and the danger to lives, homes and businesses. It is crucial that we continue to urgently progress the next phases of our planned programme, and this additional funding will support us in doing so."

Helen Batt, South Yorkshire Flood Risk Manager at the Environment Agency said: “This funding boost is great news for Sheffield and our plans to progress flood defences to better protect homes and businesses.

“This investment is to accelerate vital shovel-ready flood defence projects like the Upper Don, which will drive economic growth and build greater resilience to the impacts of the climate emergency. I am delighted that the money will also enable work to continue on an ambitious “Source to Sea” programme of natural flood management projects, harnessing the power of nature not only to reduce flood risk, but also deliver benefits for climate, nature, and communities.”

“This is an important part of the ambitious green and resilient recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Sheffield City Council will provide updates as and when work on the Upper Don Valley Phase 2 scheme progresses.