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18 February 2021

Council secures £1m to develop major flood prevention project in Flimby

Works are due to start on a £1m flood risk reduction project for the village of Flimby in West Cumbria.

Cumbria County Council has secured the investment following submission and approval of a business case to the Environment Agency’s ‘Flood Defence Grant in Aid’ fund to deliver the works.

The project will reduce the risk of flooding to properties in the Flimby community, which has been badly affected by flooding in the past, with Storm Desmond in December 2015 causing significant damage and disruption to local property and residents. The proposed project will reduce the risk of flooding from nearby watercourses and surface water that affects the village.

The council has successfully attracted £1m in funding for the project, with the potential to apply to a further ‘risk fund’ of £500,000, should additional funding be required to complete the project.

The council’s business case is based on an outline design for a package of flood defence works across the village.

The works consist of the following:
  1. Diversion of peak flows from Penny Gill to Furnace Gill. Diverted flows will be limited to a maximum allowable transfer flow. 
  2. Construction of a detention basin located in the field to the north of Farmers Way development. It consists of a one metre high embankment with controlled outlet and local bank lowering to allow Penny Gill watercourse to spill into the detention basin. The basin will hold water during peak periods of rain overloading Penny Gill. 
  3. The addition / upgrade of surface water drainage systems in the residential areas of Coniston Avenue and Solway Avenue. 
  4. The full diversion (within a culvert) of existing Cat Gill from where it crosses Church Road into Bragg Beck located south of Flimby. 
  5. Construction of additional dams to slow the flow of water in woodland to the east of Flimby. 
  6. Remediation works to an existing flood gate adjacent to the A596. 

Flimby is a complex flooding landscape and delivering a package of proposed solutions which will have the greatest impact within the funds available is complex. The project has been designed to a ‘1 in 75-year event’ and will reduce the risk of flooding to a significant proportion of properties within the village but will not, unfortunately, prevent all flooding - particularly where rainfall exceeds the design flood level.

The final stages of appointing a ‘design and construction’ contractor is now underway to move the project forward.  Alongside the council, the contractor will aim to complete the detailed design of project works and secure any necessary permissions for the project during the spring of 2021. It is likely that some survey and ground investigations in fields and highways in and around Flimby will be necessary. The council will work with landowners and farmers to keep disruption to a minimum.

Local Councillor and Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Cllr Keith little, said:

“Flimby has suffered historic flooding and was left devastated after Storm Desmond in 2015 with over 100 homes flooded. Alongside partners at the Environment Agency, Cumbria County Council has worked hard to secure a significant amount of funding and will continue to deliver the project on behalf of the community throughout the spring and summer of 2021. The council will continue to work with the Local Flood Action Group who have been relentless in their drive to secure more flood defences for Flimby over the past five years.”

The local community will be informed as the project progresses and any disruption as a result of the works required to deliver the flood alleviation project will be kept to a minimum.
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Works are due to start on a £1m flood risk reduction project for the village of Flimby in West Cumbria.