The Environment Agency last week opened the Lower Dove flood scheme in Derbyshire, which has reduced the risk of flooding to 1,600 residential and major commercial properties.
Construction of the £8.7million scheme began in September 2012, and it consists of around 5km of new and improved flood defences on the border of Staffordshire and Derbyshire.
The work has involved improving existing defences along the Foston Brook in Scropton, and raising and extending localised embankments for the River Dove in Hatton, Scropton and Egginton. Improvement works to protect the railway embankment at Scropton have also been carried out.
The scheme, which has been largely funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was officially opened with the unveiling of a plaque by Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire.
Defra Minister Dan Rogerson said: “The new flood defences will reduce flood risk to more than 1,600 homes and businesses in the Lower Dove from the risk of flooding and build a stronger local economy by giving businesses the confidence to invest in the area.
“We have invested more than £6 million in the project, while local businesses and communities have shown the effectiveness of partnership working by getting behind the scheme and investing a further £2 million.
“This major investment is part of a £2.3 billion programme to tackle the risk of flooding and means that more money than ever is being spent to better protect communities like those in the Lower Dove.”
Also present at the ceremony were representatives from Nestlé, which operates a site in Hatton and will be a major beneficiary of the scheme. The work to reduce the risk of flooding has enabled Nestlé to expand its site and create around 400 jobs for local people.
Fiona Kendrick, CEO and Chairman at Nestlé UK & Ireland, said:
“Nestlé were pleased to support the Lower Dove flood scheme with a £1.65million contribution. The works will provide flood protection for the local community which includes many of our employees, as well as our factory site. After more than 100 years on the Tutbury site the factory is developing its operations, creating many hundreds of new jobs.”
Prior to the opening ceremony, an Environment Day was held at Thistley Place Meadow Nature Reserve where staff from Nestlé, the construction company and Dove Valley Community Project joined the Environment Agency to carry out planting around the scheme.
Press Release, October 14, 2013