The government has announced a £2.9m investment into projects to protect English communities against the impacts of flooding.
Three projects in Yorkshire, Devon and Cornwall and central England will receive up to £700,000 each to research and encourage the uptake of property flood resilience measures, which reduce the damage that flooding can cause to buildings.
The £2m of funding the projects will receive will go towards new research initiatives, demonstration centres and advice portals to inform people about these measures.
The remaining funding will be used to fund further research and initiatives to share the lessons learned from the three projects.
Environment minister Thérèse Coffey said: ‘I am delighted to award funding to the pathfinder flood resilience projects in the Ox-Cam arc, Yorkshire and the South West.
‘I expect the councils and organisations involved will increase the take up of property resilience measures by home owners and businesses, making their properties safer, and quicker to return to if flooding does happen.’
The Oxford-Cambridge Pathfinder project, led by Northamptonshire County Council, will focus on delivering one million high-quality homes across the region by 2050.
Ten communities will be identified to engage with the project, with resources prioritised towards areas most vulnerable to the impacts of flooding.
The Yorkshire Future Flood Resilience Pathfinder project will look to encourage greater uptake of property flood resilience measures in Yorkshire by engaging communities, planners and construction professionals through a community hub, learning lab and a large-scale training programme.
The South West Partnership project, meanwhile, will aim to increase flood resilience in communities across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, focusing on local innovation through a demonstration hub and web portal.
The projects will be delivered with support from the Environment Agency, which will also identify lessons from the projects to encourage the take-up of property flood resilience measures elsewhere in the country.
Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said: ‘This new funding is a welcome step forwards for our efforts to boost the uptake of property-level resilience measures in homes and businesses across the country.
‘The Environment Agency will work closely with the local authorities and organisations taking forward the Pathfinder projects to support their work and share lessons learnt.
‘Our experience shows that making these small changes in the home can make a huge difference to people’s lives when flooding takes place.’
Earlier this year the Environment Agency launched its 50-year flood risk plan, warning that communities may suffer devastating consequences if the UK does not sufficiently prepare for climate change.
An average of £1bn will need to be invested each year in traditional flood and coastal defences and natural flood management, the agency said.
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