Scheme encourages residents to make properties flood resilient

PUBLISHED: 10:49 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:54 01 August 2019

The River Otter flooded in 2018. Picture: Sam Cooper

The River Otter flooded in 2018. Picture: Sam Cooper

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Residents and business owners should install measures like flood doors, hard floors and electrics raised off the ground - that is the message from the Environment Agency.

The government body is issuing advice as part of a part of a multi-million pound scheme which aims to protect the South West from flooding.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey confirmed that, out of a £2.9million pot of cash, £487,200 would be used by the South West Partnership's Pathfinder project to create a demonstration hub and web portal to encourage residents and businesses to install the changes.

The projects will be delivered with support from the Environment Agency (EA) and representatives of the insurance and construction industries.

The EA will monitor the projects to highlight successes and identify lessons that can be used to foster greater use of property flood resilience measures elsewhere across the country.

Building greater resilience into homes, businesses and infrastructure forms one of the EA's core themes in its Draft Flood and Coastal Risk Management Strategy, looking at how we can prepare for increased climate risk over the next 100 years.

The Government is currently investing a £2.6billion to better protect 300,000 homes and thousands of business from flooding and coastal erosion between 2015-2021.

Emma Howard Boyd, the EA's chairman, said: "This new funding is a welcome step forwards for our efforts to boost the uptake of property-level resilience measures in homes and businesses across the country. The Environment Agency will work closely with the local authorities and organisations taking forward the Pathfinder projects to support their work and share lessons learnt.

"Our experience shows that making these small changes in the home can make a huge difference to people's lives when flooding takes place."

Any remaining money will be used to fund further research, support project delivery and evaluation as well as initiatives to share the findings and lessons learned from the three projects across the rest of the country.

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