Funding cut leads to scrapping of part of flood defence scheme

Ongoing work of flood scheme
Ongoing work of flood scheme

A programme to strengthen flood defences throughout Calderdale is a third of the way through, but some funding setbacks have led to one project being dropped.

In all 20 actions, three more than the last report in May, are now complete, Calderdale Flood Recovery and Resilience Programme Board members heard.

READ: Go-ahead for £2.6 million phase of £30 million Mytholmroyd flood scheme

The report from the Flood Risk Reduction and Investment Group outlined progress made on projects to keep Calderdale safer in extreme weather events – but also some setbacks with funding bids rejected or having to be resubmitted.

Calder catchment director for the Environment Agency Helen Batt reported that completed actions include Yorkshire Water completing drainage plan models for both Luddenden Foot and Hebden Bridge and also a feasability study and implementation of automating a radial gate at Turvin Clough which runs down through Cragg Vale.

Eight actions due to be completed this year or by the middle of next year have been delayed but all have upgraded timescales to reflect further work required, or they are at least 80 per cent complete.

Twenty eight projects are on schedule and are rated green with a further 13 on amber, many due to tight timescales and pace of delivery associated with the capital programme of flood alleviation schemes.

There is just one scheme on red, and Calderdale Council has been tasked to move the issue, relating to Calder Catchment Flood Studies Network, forward.

READ: Calder Valley community goes behind the scenes of flood works

The Calderdale Partnership Investment Programme summary shows a small reduction in total programme expenditure and funding gap since June since June, due to removal from the programme of widening the River Calder’s channel at Vale in Mytholmroyd.

Ms Batt’s report said the Vale project was among several which had been submitted in a funding bid to secure cash from a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs post-autumn budget pot of £40 million nationally.

The group had bid for £7 million for Vale, £5 million for the Flood Risk Reduction Schemes phase two (FRRS 2) and £2.9 million for Brighouse Flood Alleviation Scheme, but all were unsuccessful. That meant the Vale project had been dropped.

Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation Scheme remained within budget and despite a European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) bid for £3.2 million for Hebden Bridge being unsuccesful the team have been asked to resubmit an outline application to ESIF and one for £3 million, to deliver the Hebden Water element of the scheme (costing £2 million plus £1 million for environmental enhancements) has been put in.

The Natural Flood management programme is also bidding for significant extra funding which might add up to an extra £1.5 million.