Thousands more homes and businesses in Leeds and Calderdale to be protected from flooding

Government announces £23 million for two Leeds schemes and £12 million for Hebden Bridge scheme.

16 July 2020

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its partners have welcomed new Government funding for flood alleviation schemes to protect thousands of homes and businesses across Leeds and Calderdale. 

The Government has announced it will provide up to £21 million for phase 2 of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme to protect more than 370 business and 3,300 jobs as well as enabling the development of land for new homes and jobs. 

A further £1.32 million will also be made available for the next phase of the Leeds Natural Flood Management Scheme. 

In Calderdale, the Government will provide £12 million for flood alleviation works in Hebden Bridge – which was badly affected by last winter’s flooding  to protect almost 1,000 businesses and homes.  

Cllr Judith Blake, member of the Combined Authority and Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This commitment by the Government to allocate additional funding towards flood schemes in Leeds is welcome news and a huge endorsement of the tenacity and determination shown by all those who have continued to work so hard to ensure our city and communities are protected from the devastating impact of flooding. 

“We are still working to understand the details of the funding being made available but this announcement will be particularly significant for the next step of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme Phase 2 and we look forward to working with our local partners and central Government towards delivering the scheme in full.” 

Cllr Tim Swift, Deputy Chair of the Combined Authority and Leader of Calderdale Council, said: It's vital that we invest in flood alleviation schemes to protect communities and businesses in vulnerable areas, especially as extreme weather events such as the ones seen last winter and in 2015 become more frequent. 

The ability to build resilience to respond to climate change was a key element of our devolution negotiation with the Government. There are other areas of West Yorkshire, including in Bradford, Kirklees and Wakefield, where more investment is urgently needed and we look forward to hearing further funding updates from the Government.” 

Oliver Harmar, Environment Agency Yorkshire Director, said: “This investment is to accelerate work on vital shovel-ready flood defence projects which will drive economic growth and build greater resilience to the impacts of the climate emergency, including vital protection of homes, businesses and infrastructure.  

“It will also enable work to continue on ambitious natural flood management schemes, harnessing the power of nature to not only reduce flood risk, but deliver benefits for climate, nature, and communities. This is an important part of the ambitious green and resilient recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.” 

Since the Boxing Day floods of 2015, the Combined Authority has invested £20 million from the Leeds City Region Growth Deal, alongside over £170 million of partner match funding, into schemes across Leeds City Region to safeguard up to 1,385 businesses and at least 11,100 jobs from the risk of flood.  

The Combined Authority is also investing £2.6 million in the Wyke Beck Flood Alleviation Scheme in East Leeds, £3.9 million in phase two of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme and £1.7 million in natural flood management schemes in the Colne, Calder and Upper Aire catchment areas. 

In February 2020, £1.9 million was approved by Combined Authority’s Investment Committee to help start a £27.2 million scheme in Hebden Bridge being led by the Environment Agency, which will reduce the risk of flooding from a 20% risk to a 2% risk in any given year.