Cumbria secures six million pounds to help prevent flooding and coastal erosion

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Cumbria has secured six million pounds to help prevent flooding and coastal erosion.

The government funding will be used to develop new ways of protecting smaller communities in more rural areas of the county.

Cumbria has suffered significant flood events over the years (including in 2005, 2009, 2012 and 2015), affecting many communities and businesses.

They money will be spent in various ways, such as focusing natural flood management work in the areas where modelling shows it is likely to make a meaningful difference to the community's flood risk, monitoring the impact that this work has on flood risk and water quality, and gaining a better understanding of the landscapes in which natural flood management makes the most difference to flood risk.

Farming and Community Officers will also be employed to work with farmers and local communities to co-design and fund natural flood management interventions that work for everyone, protecting farms, homes and local businesses from flood damage.

Those behind the plans say this is an innovation project and will evolve as the research develops. The team are currently modelling the likely benefits to locations where they believe it may be possible to make a significant reduction in flood risk, and then plan to work with local communities to explore how those benefits might be delivered in practice.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council's cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: "Climate change is happening now, and experts predict there will be an increase in extreme weather, flooding and coastal erosion. The impact this has on people, communities, wildlife and the economy are huge.

"So much of our county has been affected by flooding over the years, and I am delighted that we have been selected to be one of Defra's chosen areas to receive this funding boost. The funding will provide a fantastic opportunity to look at innovative new ways of reducing the risk of flooding over the next five years, throughout Cumbria, working closer with our smaller rural communities to help better protect and prepare them."

Stewart Mounsey, Environment Agency, Flood Risk Manager for Cumbria added:

"Innovation will be key to making communities more resilient to the effects of climate change, so this funding is both hugely important and warmly welcomed. These initial projects will provide the evidence needed to help our investment programmes adapt to the changing climate and bring multiple benefits to communities and the environment."