More than 500 homes and businesses in Cumbria will be better protected from flooding thanks to a new £9.5 million scheme completed by the Environment Agency.
According to the EA, the Town Beck Flood Alleviation Scheme in Ulverston, Cumbria, will reduce flood risk to more than 400 homes and more than 100 businesses, as well as critical tourism infrastructure.
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, officially opened the scheme last Friday, and said: “Cumbrian communities know well the devastation that flooding can cause. The Town Beck flood defense will better protect 500 homes and businesses in Ulverston and support England’s tourist economy by improving protection for the railway that leads to the Lake District.”
Town Beck lies within a steep catchment and predominantly runs underground through the town center. The new scheme consists of a number of sections throughout the town center including raising existing flood defense walls, installing new floodgates, repairing and refurbishing the underground water channels (culverts), and building a swale in the natural flood plain to ensure that there is no increase to flood risk in South Ulverston.
Much of the scheme is underground, so different construction techniques known as ‘trenchless technologies’ were used. In some cases Environment Agency contractors installed reinforced plastic sleeves to repair pipes – or worked underground wearing specialist breathing apparatus to spray concrete on the inside of the culvert for extra strength.
The scheme will provide a significant improvement in the standard of protection for the area, which has been affected by flooding several times in recent years – most recently in 2009 and in 2012.