Shropshire Star

Money pledged to help Ironbridge Gorge properties 'undefended' from flooding

Money is to be made available to help properties without defences from flooding in the Ironbridge Gorge.

Many homes and businesses in the Ironbridge Gorge have faced the misery of repeated flooding in recent years.

The Government has announced a total of £26m to be split between 53 projects across the country, as part of a 'Frequently Flooded Allowance'.

The pledge does include money for one of the areas of the county most commonly hit by flooding – the Ironbridge Gorge.

While properties on the historic Wharfage are protected by temporary flood barriers, a raft of other businesses and homes face frequent misery as a result of flooding – with major incidents hitting the area for the past three years.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said that money would be available to help some of those affected as part of the latest scheme.

The fund will provide help for 'undefended Properties in the Ironbridge Gorge' – with the announcement saying it would offer 'individual property protection'.

Telford & Wrekin Council, which applied for the funding, said it was awaiting information as to how much will be available.

A spokesman said: "We welcome confirmation that we have been successful in securing funding towards defences for currently undefended properties in the Ironbridge Gorge.

"We are awaiting detail of how much this funding is from government.

"We have always made the case for permanent flood defences for businesses and homes in the Gorge."

The Shropshire Star has contacted the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for more details on how the support will work.

The Government said that the allowance targets communities where 10 or more properties have flooded twice or more in the last 10 years – and where building flood defences is either physically not possible, or difficult due to funding.

Mrs Pow said: "We know only too well the devastating impact that flooding can have on communities and businesses, as we face more extreme weather brought about by climate change.

"I am determined that we do whatever we can to prevent flooding that affects so many towns and villages across the country.

"This much-needed funding will go a long way to support those whose homes and livelihoods are repeatedly threatened by flooding and forms a key part of our record £5.2 billion investment by 2027 to protect communities in England better."

Caroline Douglass, Executive Director for Flood and Coastal Risk Management at the Environment Agency, said: "Increased flooding is just one of the impacts of climate change we are seeing in the UK and around the world. Protecting people and communities is our top priority as we look to tackle this challenge.

"The funding announced today will help better protect homes and businesses at risk from repeated flood incidents across the country.

"The Environment Agency’s strong track record in delivering flood defence schemes means we have better protected 374,000 homes since 2015."

The Government's announcement says that the allowance "supports the installation of property flood resilience (PFR) measures such as flood doors and barriers".

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