Combined Authority welcomes investment in flood defences to protect homes and businesses across Leeds City Region

Multi-million pound investment will protect communities in Calderdale and Selby.

The Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority has welcomed a £29.7 million package of investment in flood defence schemes to protect hundreds of homes and businesses across the Leeds City Region and unlock future growth opportunities.

In Calderdale, £20.7 million will go towards a new scheme in Sowerby Bridge and support existing projects already underway in Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge and Brighouse.

A further £9 million will go towards the Tadcaster Flood Alleviation Scheme which is already in the development stages.  

The announcement was part of an overall package of more than £60 million to support 13 projects across England.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “People living in Calderdale and Selby will be delighted that the Government has committed further funding to support new and existing flood alleviation schemes that will hopefully prevent a repeat of the devastation caused by the 2015 Boxing Day floods. 

“However, it is vital that we continue to work with our partners, including the Regional Flood and Coast Committee, councils and the Environment Agency, to develop the right schemes to ensure other communities around the Leeds City Region are protected against another extreme flooding event, especially given the impact of the climate emergency we all face.”

Cllr Tim Swift, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Calderdale Council, said: “We welcome the announcement of an additional £20.7m flood defence investment for Calderdale and I am delighted the Government has listened to our requests for extra funding to boost the defences across our vulnerable towns.

“The funding will allow us, in partnership with the Environment Agency, to deliver the essential flood alleviation schemes in Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Sowerby Bridge and Brighouse which are so vital after the devastating floods in 2015. 

“At a time when extreme climate events are becoming more likely this will help us to protect our communities across the Calder Valley.”

Cllr Mark Crane, Leader of Selby District Council, said: “I’d like to welcome the announcement of significant funding to protect homes and businesses in Tadcaster. This decision demonstrates the importance of Selby working jointly with partner organisations to secure major funding for our district.

“Tadcaster has inspired many as they have shown how a community can bounce back from the devastating flooding they suffered in 2015. In just a few days they’ll be back on the world stage once again when the UCI world road cycling races visit our region, as they host a start for the para-cycling international race. The town is once again coming together to organise a fantastic community celebration around the race start on Saturday 21 September.”

Work on the Mytholmroyd scheme is already underway and is expected to be completed by summer 2020. In Hebden Bridge and Brighouse construction is due to start on site by winter 2020. Development will soon start on the Sowerby Bridge scheme. Construction in Tadcaster is due to start by summer 2021.