Authorities across Wales will receive a total of £2.8 million to repair flood defences damaged during recent storms, and a capital boost in funding to help them build more defence schemes this year.
The funding is in addition to the £8 million which has already been provided to individuals, businesses and local authorities as they recover from the flooding.
Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, announced the new combined package of support today, to help support those communities recovering from recent winter flooding who are now also facing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – with many people having to self-isolate in homes affected by the recent floods.
The Welsh Government will also change some of the rules in its Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Programme (FCERM) and the Coastal Risk Management Programme (CRMP) to allow more pro-active work to be put into planning future flood defences, against the backdrop of recent winter storms and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the changes made to the programmes include:
- Increasing funding support for preparing and designing new flood schemes to 100%, to allow authorities to put their ideas forward, and develop projects to reduce flood and coastal risk
- Increase the grant rate for the construction of coastal defences to 85%, from the current 75%
- Allowing councils and NRW to apply for programme funding all year round, if capital remains available
- Investing £4.3 million on smaller defence and maintenance works for local authorities,
- Allocating £1 million to the delivery of natural flood management (NFM) schemes, on a two-year pilot basis, funded 100% by Welsh Government
- Revisit planned schemes which may require further partnership support
The revised rules will allow RMAs to submit more plans for flood defence schemes; support longer-term planning of new schemes; increase the funding available for their design and construction, and allow RMAs to plan a wider range of schemes.
The above is in addition to £1.5m in funding for emergency flood repairs – following the £1.2m announced earlier this month, bringing the total fund for repairs up to £2.8m.
Some of the schemes where funds for repairs have already been earmarked include:
- nearly £100,000 for Bridgend Council for the repair of culverts, paths and tidal areas
- £350,000 to Conwy Council for specific repairs in Llanrwst, Kinmel Bay and Bron Derw
- £250,000 to Gwynedd Council to carry our emergency repairs to Barmouth North Promenade
- £450,000 for Rhondda Cynon Taff Council for culvert inlets and screens, along with further inspection and repair works to other defence measures
- £308,000 to Anglesey Council for repairs to drainage and culverts
- along with further support to other authorities and schemes in Wales.
Local authorities and Natural Resources Wales are still encouraged to apply as soon as possible for emergency funding to allow for the repair of vital flood defences.
Emergency repair payments already approved are being made immediately.
Ms Griffiths said:
We know many affected by the ongoing pandemic will be living in homes damaged or otherwise affected by the recent winter floods – including having to self-isolate in them.
That’s why it’s vital we do what we can to give people the confidence they need that support is available, and we continue to advise all those who have not yet received support to make themselves known to their local authorities.
As well as providing further funds for repairs to defences damaged by floods, we also want to encourage authorities to develop more schemes to manage the long term risk of flooding and bring peace of mind to their communities.
Our support will help reduce the financial burden many authorities face as they look to rebuild existing flood defences and plan for future flood and coastal work.
The Minister added:
Beyond the repair works, I want to see planned flood and coastal schemes accelerated and additional projects brought forward to bolster defences so people can feel safe in their homes.
I would also urge residents to look at their house insurance again - many people are still not aware that there is a UK wide scheme called Flood Re which allows homeowners to access affordable insurance against flooding, including those who have been refused in the past.