Government's £33.6m boost for Derby's flood defence plan
THE Government has confirmed it will contribute up to £33.6 million over the next five years towards a huge flood defence scheme in Derby.
It means the work will be able to move faster than expected as the city council can show developers, who would help pay for the scheme, that they have the backing to make it a reality.
The full £80 million Our City Our River scheme is aimed at bringing growth to the city while "reducing the flood risk" for 2,000 homes and businesses along the River Derwent.
It includes plans to demolish some key city centre properties, including Natwest Bank in Derwent Street, to allow more space for flood water and protect other properties.
The masterplan also outlines an ambition that new developments in City Road should be created with flood defences built in.
Councillor Hardyal Dhindsa, cabinet member for planning, environment and public protection, said the council would work with the Environment Agency over the next two years on the project.
He said: "The announcement confirmed that the Government will contribute up to £33.6 million towards the capital costs of this exciting regeneration project, which will act as a catalyst for growth throughout the city.
"The unique and innovative approach set out in the Our City, Our River strategy has helped to secure this funding at an earlier stage than expected, allowing us to bring developers on board quicker."
The Environment Agency yesterday gave confirmation it was providing £1,565,000 towards the project for the 2013-14 financial year and indicated it may grant the rest of the cash in the years up to April 2018.
A spokeswoman said a date for starting work had not been set as the scheme was "still in the development stage".
She said: "Confirmation of funding and timing will depend upon the development of outcomes, costs and partnership arrangements, considered in the context of national prioritisation."
The Environment Agency also confirmed the next sum of cash, £619,000, it will provide towards £8 million flood defences in Hatton, Scropton, and Egginton.
Once complete they will protect 1,600 properties from flooding caused by the Lower Dove River.
Work started at the beginning of September.