A £38M flood defence scheme has opened in Carlisle to reduce the flood risk to nearly 3,500 homes and businesses.
It has already helped to prevent an estimated £48M worth of damage last November when emergency work on parts of the new defence prevented 800 properties from being flooded when the River Eden burst its banks.
The new scheme was already in development prior to severe flooding of the city in 2005 which claimed the lives of three people and affected 1,800 properties. It includes 10km of raised defences, 30 flood gates, two new automated pumping stations, two raised footbridges and 1,500 metres of improved cycleway.
Speaking at the opening of the new defence, Environment Agency Chairman Lord Chris Smith said: “This £38M scheme, which has been completed almost a year ahead of schedule, will reduce the risk of flooding to almost 3,500 homes and businesses in Carlisle.
“It is essential that we continue to defend communities, businesses and the economy from the risk of flooding and coastal erosion. The Environment Agency has completed over 116 flood defence schemes in the past two years, providing increased protection to over 77,500 extra properties.”