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Melbourne Park phase of £25 million Carlisle Flood Risk Management Scheme reaches completion

A major phase in the Environment Agency’s £25million Carlisle Flood Risk Management Scheme has reached completion.

Covering the Melbourne Park area in Carlisle, improvements delivered as part of phase one of the Scheme will reduce flood risk to more than 1,200 homes and 106 businesses at a cost of £12 million.

Work has included raising and extending flood walls and improving the flow of water through Botcherby Bridge to allow a greater volume of water to pass through during a flood.

Work during this first phase will also enhance wildlife habitats and recreation facilities in Melbourne Park.

This will include working with local schools to plant extensive wildflower meadows next spring to increase the number of native birds, amphibians, small mammals and pollinators in the area. The habitat will primarily support native pollinators including butterflies, moths and bees, helping to sustain insects that pollinate food crops.

To mark the official opening of this part of the scheme the Environment Agency hosted a virtual ceremony on Wednesday 2nd December attended by Environment Agency Chief Executive, Sir James Bevan.

Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency said: “While the coronavirus pandemic has changed so much this year, the threat that climate change presents through an increased risk of flooding has not gone away. Throughout the year the Environment Agency has continued to increase the number of homes protected from the impact of floods by delivering schemes such this one in Carlisle while following government guidance and safe working measures.

“The Carlisle Flood Risk Management Scheme will not only protect people and property but will create a better place for the community by providing an enhanced environment for wildlife to thrive. I am delighted to see the Melbourne Park stage of this important scheme come to fruition.”

Stewart Mounsey, Cumbria Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the Environment Agency said: “The community of Carlisle have seen first-hand how devastating flooding can be. That’s why I’m so pleased to see the Melbourne Park stage of this much anticipated and vital scheme reach completion.

“This new £12 million investment will better protect 1,200 homes and 106 businesses across Melbourne Park and is an example of how we work with partners to make communities more resilient to the escalating impacts of the climate emergency.

“The Carlisle scheme will have one of the highest standard of protection in the country. Whilst we can never guarantee that there will not be future flooding, we hope that this scheme will bring peace of mind to the public. We look forward to delivering the future phases as soon as we can.”

When all three phases of the Carlisle scheme are complete, the £25 million scheme will offer greater flood protection to over 2,100 homes in the city.

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