A flood and coastal group will oversee spending of almost £22M to protect hundreds of homes across the North East as it sets out its objectives for the next year.
The Northumbria Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (NRFCC) has launched its business plan for 2017/18, which will include continued work at Greatham in Hartlepool, Killingworth in North Tyneside, Hartlepool Headland Coastal Protection Scheme, improvements to the Central Promenade at Whitley Bay and Monkton Village Flood Alleviation Study in South Tyneside.
The considerable sum will better protect around 743 properties from flood risk and another 100 from coastal erosion.
In its 2016/17 annual report the committee also announced that it had overseen 110 projects amounting to £24.5M over the past year, reducing the risk of flooding and coastal erosion to 1,291 properties.
Projects include Lustrum Beck flood alleviation scheme in partnership with Stockton Borough Council which now protects over 150 properties, and the Brunton Park scheme in partnership with Northumbrian Water and Newcastle City Council, which addressed sewer flooding issues and reduces the risk of flooding from the Ouseburn.
According to Leila Huntington, Flood and Coastal Risk Manager with the Environment Agency in the North East: "On completion of our £22M programme of work for the coming year, we will see a reduction in flood and coastal risk to around 843 homes and businesses in the region, as well as creating 30 hectares of new water dependent wildlife habitat.
"The committee is a great example of true partnership working, with all local councils, the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water pulling together on behalf of communities in the North East. It has an essential role to play in developing and completing flood risk management projects which reflect local priorities and understand the needs of communities.
"This is the third year of our six-year programme – so far we have already better protected 2,045 properties, bringing significant benefits to communities, properties, businesses and the environment, and this work will continue."