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Coastal defence funding reviewed amid looming cash crisis

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CHANGES TO government funding rules are needed so that priority coastal defence schemes can be financed, a senior government flooding and coastal management strategist said this week.

Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) officials are reviewing funding options for coastal projects, he told NCE's Flooding and Coastal Defence conference on Tuesday.

'There are far more schemes - many of which are pressing - than there is funding for at present, ' DEFRA flood and coastal erosion risk programme manager Martin Roberts said.

'We're looking for new sources of funding, and for ways of using existing sources that are currently unavailable, ' Roberts told delegates.

Government rules prohibit combining funding from different sources to finance coastal defence schemes.

Potential sources include European Union development funding, Regional Development Agency cash, grant aid from the Environment Agency and grants directly to local authorities from DEFRA.

Roberts was responding to complaints from local authorities that attempts to draw together funding from different sources were frustrated by red tape.

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