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£26M Morpeth flood scheme completed

The £26M Morpeth flood scheme has opened in Northumberland. The upstream reservoir is one of the largest projects of its kind built by the Environment Agency and it will store 1.4M.m3 of water when river levels are high.

The scheme was devised after floods in September 2008 when 1,000 properties in the town were flooded. Construction of the reservoir, which is situated on the town’s Mitford Estate, started in 2013. Work included a new flood wall, riverside embankment, three floodgates and repairs to existing defences. It was carried out by Balfour Beatty subsidiary Birse Civils.

Morpeth flood

Source: Environment Agency

An aerial shot of the upstream dam at the Mitford Estate, which works by storing 1.4M cubic metres of water – enough to fill 560 Olympic sized swimming pools – when river levels are high and would otherwise cause flooding.

Environment Agency chairman Sir Phillip Dilley said: “With one in six people at risk of flooding in England, flood schemes like Morpeth have a key role to play in protecting people and property, and provide a valuable boost to the local economy. Creating large-scale habitat is also vital to ensuring the survival of the country’s endangered species such as white clawed crayfish.

“The success of this scheme is down to the way it has been developed in collaboration with others. In particular, the funding from Northumberland County Council is among the largest contributions received under the partnership funding regime.

“We are making record levels of investment, spending £2.3bn over the next six years to reduce flood risk to more than 300,000 properties in England, and successful partnerships like this, with local authorities and business, will be key.”

 

 

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