The government has announced a new £5.2bn flood defence plan to help prepare the country for increased flooding due to a changing climate.
The funding will be used to upgrade and expand flood defences, manage the flow of water to reduce flood risk and manage drought and harness the power of nature to deliver environmental benefits.
It will also be used to prepare communities for when flooding does occur and to ensure that every area of England has a comprehensive local plan.
The government has said that the measures will help to create around 2,000 new flood and coastal defences to better protect 336,000 properties in England by 2027.
The plans include £200m for innovative projects such as sustainable drainage systems and nature-based solutions like temporary or permanent water storage areas and £170m will be allocated to accelerate work on flood defence schemes that will begin construction in 2020.
According to the government, the funding will prevent £32bn worth of economic damage.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson commented: ‘Last winter I saw for myself the misery and upheaval that flooding can bring to lives and livelihoods and I said we would do more to help people.
‘This long-term plan will help push back the floodwaters and protect hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses and livelihoods.’
Joseph Priestley, public affairs manager at Zurich Insurance, has, however, said that the announcement lacks support for individual homeowners: ‘Today’s multi-billion pound investment is a sign of the increasing flood threat faced by UK communities.
‘Although the announcement includes welcome funding for big infrastructure projects, and natural flood solutions, more needs to be done for individual homeowners.
‘The government should reform the existing £5,000 household flood resilience grant to allow homeowners in high risk flood areas to make proactive improvements to their properties ahead of, not after, flooding events.’