near Preston - has been awarded by the department for environment,
food and rural affairs.
The grant will contribute to work costing some£4.5m and being
promoted by the environment agency. The work will involve the
replacement of existing flood walls and raising and reprofiling
existing earth embankments.
Mr Morley said:
'I am delighted that the department has approved these important
works at Walton-le-Dale.
There has been a history of flooding at the confluence of the Rivers
Ribble and Darwen, with the most significant recent event in 1995.
The works are designed to provide protection against one in 75 year
events, whereas some of the 600 residential and 65
commercial/industrial properties are currently susceptible to
flooding at one in 10 year events.
The government is committed to sustaining flood and coastal defences
and has increased spending plans in both of its Spending Reviews. In
November we announced a further increase of£51m in this and
the next three years as part of the response to severe flooding
events. In all DEFRA funding is set to increase by 50% from£76
million last year to£114 million in 2003-04. A primary objective is
to make a real difference to the speed at which the capital programme
for river defences is carried forward, with rates of grant for such
work increased by 20%. The works at Walton-le-Dale will benefit from
DEFRA provides grant aid to the environment agency, local authorities
and internal drainage boards for capital works that are technically
sound, economically worthwhile and environmentally acceptable, and
achieve an appropriate priority score (based on an assessment of
Ministerial priorities, urgency and benefit:cost ratio). Grant rates
are set at levels intended to provide higher grant support where
needs are high and local resources low. Following recent flooding
events, an increased priority is being given to urban flood defences
and the grant rates for river flood defences have been increased by
20%, bringing them to the same level as for coastal defences. DEFRA
is providing the environment agency's north west regional flood
defence committee with a grant rate of 35% for such works.