Work is now starting today on the £76 million Kendal flood risk management scheme.
Construction starts in Dockray Hall in Kendal today for a number of months.
Work will then begin work in Romney Gardens next month.
When complete, the scheme will reduce the risk of flooding to 1,480 homes and 1,100 local businesses across the River Kent catchment.
The scheme has been designed with local residents, South Lakeland District Council, Cumbria County Council, Kendal Town Council and United Utilities.
It will see 6km of earth embankments and flood walls being built with glass panels at key view points along the river.
Stewart Mounsey, of the Environment Agency, said: “Our thanks goes out to the residents and business of Kendal for their understanding, co-operation and support in designing a flood scheme that will, when complete, protect 1,480 homes and 1,100 business across the River Kent catchment from the devastating effects of flooding as seen by the town in 2015/16.
“The construction of phase one of the scheme will be undertaken in small sections to help minimise disruption to the town, and during the first six months, no roads will need to close to help keep Kendal open for business.
“Throughout construction, the Environment Agency and our contractors, Volker Stevin, will work in line with all current Government guidance to keep everyone safe and we are committed to keeping the local community informed of progress by providing updates on the Flood Hub.
“We will also be working with partners to plant over 3,600 trees, creating 55 hectares of improved wildlife habitat and making 3km of riverside path improvements as well as including public art to create a vibrant river corridor for people and wildlife.
“Whilst we cannot prevent flooding altogether, the new flood risk management scheme will go some way in providing flood protection to the residents and business of Kendal.”
Tim Farron, Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, said: “I’m delighted that work has finally started on the flood relief scheme for Kendal, Burneside and Staveley.
“The effects of flooding on people’s homes, businesses and their mental wellbeing over recent years have been colossal, so today marks an important step in protecting local residents.”