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Worcestershire town washed out for three years running set to receive £6.2m to improve flood defences

Written by on 26/07/2021

A town in the West Midlands is set to receive £6.2 million for permanent flood defences, after it was washed out for three years running.

Bewdley in Worcestershire will have its temporary flood barriers replaced to better protect homes and businesses, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

The defences failed when floods hit the town February and Prime Minister Boris Johnson was heckled by residents and branded a “traitor” when he visited the town a month later.

River Severn creeps up a street in Bewdley
Image: The government will commit £6.2 million to improve Bewdley’s flood defences. Pic file

Floods Minister Rebecca Pow is set to announce the scheme and a further £4.5 million which will be invested in smaller projects within the Severn Valley.

The money will help tackle flooding in the long-term and will use flood management techniques such as floodplain reconnection, wetland creation, woody debris dams and woodland planting to slow the flow of water upstream from Shrewsbury, Defra said.

“Flooding is a devastating experience, as people in Bewdley know only too well,” Ms Pow said.

“The new Beales Corner scheme, combined with flood alleviation projects further up the Severn Valley, will help significantly reduce the risk of flooding in this area in future.

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“It’s just one part of our wider action on flooding supported by our commitment of a record-breaking £5.2 billion across England between now and 2027, to better protect hundreds of thousands more homes.”

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In February, Dan Madden’s Bewdley residence was flooded for the second year

Defra said funding for the scheme was made available through the government’s £170 million economic recovery funding package, which was announced last year and is aimed at accelerating work on ‘shovel-ready’ flood defence schemes across England.

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said: “The Environment Agency has made progress in tackling flooding in the Severn Valley and a permanent defence at Beales Corner.

“But, with climate change bringing more extreme weather, people need to be vigilant.”

Earlier this year, towns in Worcestershire had to be evacuated after severe weather warnings.

Floods severely impacted homes and businesses in the area – the third time in three years Bewdley was hit by floods.

 Sky News

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