The Secretary of State for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs, Richard Benyon MP has officially opened the new flood defences in Cockermouth.
New self-closing flood defences aimed at protecting 400 homes and businesses from severe flooding are being officially unveiled in Cockermouth.
The unique defence system is the first of its kind to be used in the UK.
The town was devastated by severe flooding in 2009 when the main street was submerged in water and thousands of properties were affected.
The Environment Agency contributed £3.3 million to the project, with an additional £1.1 million provided by a number of organisations including Allerdale Borough Council and Cockermouth Flood Action Group.
The Chair of Cockermouth Flood Action Group, Sue Cashmore, said:
"It's fantastic that through working in partnership we have a flood protection scheme in place that may otherwise have not been possible.
"This is the result of much hard work and I'm proud of the commitment shown by the Cockermouth Flood Action Group and local community."
New flood defences for Cockermouth are being unveiled by the Environment Agency today.
The 120-metre wide innovative self-closing barriers have been installed to reduce the risk of flooding to more than 400 homes and businesses in the town.
– Adam Walsh, Flood Team Leader, Environment Agency
"We are delighted that Cockermouth's flood defences are now complete, reducing the risk of flooding to 361 local homes and 55 businesses. It also marks the first time a self-closing flood barrier has been used to protect a community in the UK.
"This project has been driven by the community and we would like to encourage residents and businesses to come along and share this special occasion with us."