Multi million funding gap opens up in town's anti flooding scheme

A £3.2 million funding gap has been identified in a town's flood management scheme.

Photo: Environment Agency
Photo: Environment Agency

But project leaders of the Tenbury Wells Flood Risk Management Scheme say they have identified the issues and are looking at a variety of measures.

Tenbury has suffered from flooding to large parts of the town on a number of occasions, most recently in November 2019 and in February 2020. The community is at risk of flooding from both the River Teme and the Kyre Brook.

The Environment Agency this week issued one of it's regular scheme updates to residents on progress. They are planning to submit a planning application in late 2022, with the aim to start construction by spring 2023.

"The project team were working with a funding gap already, and with project cost increases there is a £3.2 million funding gap," said a spokesman.

"All partners, including the Environment Agency, Worcestershire County Council and Malvern Hills District Council are working very hard to bridge this gap."

After the flooding in February 2020, the Government committed an additional £4.9 million of public money to allow a flood scheme for Tenbury to be progressed. It is hoped that the scheme will reduce the risk of flooding to approximately 120 residential and 145 commercial properties.

The project update says a review of the scheme's design is being carried out to assess where greater value can be achieved from an engineering perspective. They are also looking again at where the scheme can achieve greater benefits to improve the benefit cost ratio, and investigating additional funding sources.

They say costs are higher than at the scheme's initial assessment because of the complexity of the project, unforeseen changes in design, and industry wide increases in material costs.

Inflation and industry wide cost increases have caused most construction material costs to rise by 20 per cent in the last 12 month period – some, including steel, cement, and bricks by much more.

Work on the scheme is happening and project leaders are due to have conversations with the Hereford Anglican Church over the coming weeks on finalising the scheme's design. The design of flood defences at a riverside graveyard is under discussion.

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