Funding towards next stage of Leeds flood defence scheme recommended for approval

The £79 million second stage of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme will protect hundreds of homes, businesses and vital infrastructure.

Almost £4 million of funding to protect hundreds of homes, businesses and infrastructure from the devastation caused by floods could be approved by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee.

Next Tuesday, the committee, which is made up of councillors from around West Yorkshire, will be recommended to approve £3.9 million from the Leeds City Region Growth Deal towards to the overall £76 million cost of the second phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

A report prepared ahead of the meeting states that almost 140 businesses, two railway lines, 13 electrical substations and development land suitable for more than 1,500 new homes near the River Aire will be protected against a one-in-a-hundred years flood event once the work is completed.

The scheme is being led by Leeds City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency and is designed to prevent the scale of damage caused by the Boxing Day floods in 2015.

Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the Combined Authority’s Investment Committee and Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “It’s vital that we continue to work together with our partners to mitigate the devastating impact flooding can have not just for individual families and households but also for businesses and our wider economy.

“The Combined Authority, along with its partner councils, declared a climate emergency in June. Experts have predicted that floods may become more common in future so it’s vital that we invest in the right schemes to provide long-term protection for our communities now.”

Work on the second phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme is expected to start later this year and concentrate on the section of the River Aire from Leeds Railway Station to Kirkstall.

It follows on from the first phase to the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme which was completed in October 2017 and uses state-of-the-art moveable weirs at Crown Point and Knostrop to provide more than 23,000 homes and 500 businesses with added protection against flooding.

The Leeds City Region Local Growth Deal is a £1 billion-plus deal between the LEP and the Government to help transform the Leeds City Region economy.