Last Updated: 09 Feb 2017 9:44am
Tonbridge and Malling residents and businesses at risk of flooding along the River Medway can breathe a sigh of relief today as the Government announces Local Growth Funding of £4.635m towards the Medway Flood Storage Area Project.
Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council is working with the Environment Agency and Kent County Council to deliver the £24.6m scheme, which will include much needed improvements to the Leigh Flood Storage Area together with a flood protection bund at Hildenborough. A separate scheme of flood mitigation measures at East Peckham is also included within the proposed package.
Leader of Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, Nicolas Heslop is delighted with the news, he says: "This funding will give us and local people more certainty on the future of flood defences. Knowing that we will be able to deliver much needed measures to increase the capacity of the Leigh Flood Storage Area and in turn reduce flood risk will see significant growth to business and property within communities along the River Medway and this will give peace of mind and a huge boost to those who have been affected by flooding in previous years."
More than 2,500 homes and businesses in Tonbridge, Hildenborough and East Peckham are at risk of flooding from the Rivers Medway, Beult and Tiese. Communities in these areas were affected by flooding in 1960, 1963, 1968, 1974, 1979, 2000/01 and winter 2013/14.
The business case for the project will be considered by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in 2018. Once the business case has been approved, the detailed design phase can begin and it's hoped that construction works will be completed by 2022.
Local Growth Funding (LGF) is government funding awarded to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) for projects that benefit the local area and economy and today Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council is delighted with the announcement of the successful LEP funding bid.
Funding for the Medway Flood Storage Area Project is made up as follows:
Local Growth Funding - £4.6359m
Environment Agency/DEFRA - £15.55m
Kent County Council - £2.5m
Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council - £0.5m
Plus the remainder (£0.5m) via Private Sector contributions
Sub Total: £23,685,900
In addition, earlier contributions made towards working up the overall business case were:
Environment Agency - £600k, Kent County Council - £205k, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council - £100k and Maidstone Borough Council - £100k.
The Local Growth Fund was awarded through the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership (a federated board of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership), which brings together key leaders from business, local government, further and higher education to explore opportunities for business and address key economic issues.