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  1. ITV Report

Multi million pound flood defences unveiled for Cockermouth company

The company was flooded in both 2009 and 2015. Credit: IT Border

A company in Cumbria - with more than 400 staff - says it can press ahead with multi-million pound expansion plans and create new jobs now that its factory is protected from flooding.

James Walker and Co. in Cockermouth is one of the region's largest employer and was left underwater in 2009 and in 2015.

Storm Desmond brought record breaking rainfall four years ago and flooded a great portion of Cumbria, in particular, Cockermouth.

It brought the town to a standstill, causing significant disruption for local residents and businesses.

The company has now invested the funds in a state of the art flood defence system that will safeguard its site and secure the jobs of its existing workforce.

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With new £2.6million defences, James Walker and Co. hopes to expand their company and create 30 jobs in the coming years.

This financial help to build flood defences safeguards existing jobs and paves the way for growth. We have ambitious development plans which will see in the region of £10m being invested by the James Walker Group in reinforcing the position of our Cockermouth site as a global centre of excellence for the manufacture and development of elastomeric materials and components."

– Diederik Neeb, Managing Director of the James Walker strategic business unit.

The protection plan includes:

  • A flood wall around the firm's production buildings made from sheet pilin.
  • Automated floodgates built-in for the main vehicle access points and several pedestrian floodgates at key access points.
  • Two high-volume pumping stations with a capacity to pump over 21,000 litres of water per minute.