Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey visited Cumbria today to see repairs to flood defences.

Work to defences after Storm Desmond has included removing debris and gravel from rivers, reinforcing flood defence walls and repairing pumping stations.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs say £72m is also being invested in Cumbria flood defences to better protect 4,300 more properties and a further £3 million is being spent looking into different options for flood defence schemes across the county.

“We’re committed to better protecting Cumbria from flooding and that’s why our investment will better protect 4,300 homes and businesses. “With the £10m programme to repair Cumbria’s defences now almost finished we are now looking at further ways to protect the country, working closely with the community, and making sure homes are better prepared.”

Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey MP

Minister Coffey also visited the Toy Shop in Cockermouth which was forced to close for six months after it was flooded in 2009.

In order to limit the risk of that happening again, owner Jonty Chippendale has since used a £5,000 government grant to put in place successful property flood resilience measures, such as moving electrical sockets up the wall of the shop.

The Toy Shop flooded again last winter, but this time Jonty was able to reopen the business in just 24 hours.

“When we flooded it was dreadful, but once the water had gone we soon realised we had a choice. We could either give up or take control, and so we used a government grant to make our property more resilient.

Jonty Chippendale, Cockermouth businessman