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Private funding pledges for flood defences reach £30M in six months

Third party funding contributions for flood defence projects have reached up to £30M in the first six months since the new Partnership Funding regime was launched, a government flood funding official has said.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) funding and insurance team leader Jenny Maresh told a Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (Ciwem) conference yesterday that projects in Sandwich in Kent, Morpeth in Northumberland and Leeman Road in York had amassed particularly large contributions.

Defra’s new Partnership Funding regime — previously known as Payment-For-Outcomes — will see central government funding used to partially fund a greater number of schemes, rather than fully funding a smaller number of schemes. Schemes with partial funding must make up the shortfall with private contributions in order to go ahead.

The new regime will come into effect in the 2012/2013 financial year, and the Environment Agency is currently devising its indicative programme of schemes which will be taken forward. Projects’ economic benefits must be at least 120% of their cost to be considered for the next year’s indicative programme, Maresh said. However, Environment Agency Regional Flood and Coastal Committees can choose to deploy local levies in their region as a top-up to bring schemes with a cost benefit of between 100% and 120% into the indicative programme.

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