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12 July, 2017 - 13:18 By Kate Sweeney

£10 million boost for Lowestoft flood defence project

Lowestoft Harbour

Residents and businesses in Lowestoft will see the chances of future major flooding events significantly reduced after a proposal was approved for the £32 million Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project (LFRMP).

The board of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership has given final approval for a £10m contribution to LFRMP.

Further funding will come from Anglian Water, the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, Suffolk County Council, The Government’s Flood & Coastal Risk Management Grant in Aid and Waveney District Council, who will manage the project.

LFRMP consists of two main elements:

  • Construction of reinforced and extended flood walls on the north and south sides of the entrance to the inner harbour, to be tied into high ground or existing defences.
  • A tidal gate for the inner harbour, to be built in front of the Bascule Bridge.

With the East having experienced a June heatwave, it’s hard to imagine the devastation caused by recent winter storm surges, but the memories of those affected in Lowestoft are all too real.

In December 2013 a tidal surge flooded more than 150 homes and 230 commercial properties and closed key transportation links including Lowestoft Railway station and the A12. 

Flooding occurred again in the town in 2015 and 2016, causing significant damage and disruption to the local community and economy. The risk of tidal flooding in Lowestoft is currently between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 in any given year. Completion of the LFRMP would reduce that probability to a minimum of 1 in 200.

The project aims to protect existing homes and businesses from flooding in the Lowestoft Harbour/Lake Lothing area and to enable investment and economic growth in the area by protecting existing jobs and providing new employment opportunities.

The wider, strategic benefits of the project include:

  • Safeguarding 10,900 jobs. 
  • Unlocking 3,500 direct and 8,000 indirect new jobs.
  • Securing £499m GVA per annum and supporting the generation of an additional £195m of GVA per year, totalling £694m per year within the area.

Following the approval of a final business case, work is expected to start in July 2018 and be completed by September 2020.

Mark Pendlington, chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is a vital project with far reaching benefits. It will offer security to residents and businesses already living and trading in Lowestoft and unlock its vast potential for further economic growth.”

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