Cumbrian community raise £215k for flood defences

Community members and businesses in Cockermouth have raised the funds needed to secure the £4.4million flood defence scheme which will protect the town from future flooding.

'Community contribution was vital'

Homes have been fitted with flood gates and flood walls to stop the water getting into properties Credit: ITV News Border

Sue Cashmore from the Cockermouth Flood Action group said:

"We would not have got the flood defences without this money.

"It may seem like a small amount in relation to the total but it was vital.

"We will all benefit from these defences and we are hoping it will mean insurance premiums will come down. At the moment at lot of people are being priced out of the market."

Independent shops cough up the cash for flood scheme

Most of the money was raised by a council precept paid by those living around the town and a large portion came from local businesses.

"About 90% of the money which came from businesses came from the independent shops. It was very surprising that not many of the high street national shops donated.

"They claim to be local but in this case they really disappointed us.

"I am very proud of what Cockermouth has achieved and I think we can feel more confident now in bad weather.

"These flood defences are needed and will protect from most flooding - it won't protect us from a flood like 2009 but nothing can."

– Jonty Chippendale, Chairman, Chamber of Trade

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Cockermouth community raise £215k for flood defences

Flood defences in Cockermouth have been built where the River Cocker and River Derwent meet Credit: ITV News Border

Community members and businesses in Cockermouth have raised the funds needed to secure the £4.4million flood defence scheme which will protect the town from future flooding.

Residents and businesses owners had to agree to raise £215,000 of the total sum the government released its funding, and that money has now been collected.

Work began on the flood defences last year and will be complete by June.

They include flood walls, barriers and a state of the art system at Ruby Banks where the barrier rises as the river swells - the first of its kind in the country.