A key phase in the Environment Agency’s Carlisle Flood Risk Management Scheme is now watertight and winter-ready.
The completed works mean that over 80 properties and vital infrastructure, including roads and schools, will be better protected from flooding this winter.
Works undertaken include raising existing flood defences, embankments and floodwalls along with constructing a new flood wall in the Bitts Park area of the city.
To mark the occasion, Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency and officials from Carlisle City Council will visit the scheme today.
The visit coincides with the publication of a new Environment Agency report highlighting the vital importance of adapting to the impacts of the climate emergency, including investing in measures to reduce the impact of flooding.
In the report to Government, the Agency warns of increased flooding and drought due to more extreme weather and urges governments, businesses and society to embrace and invest in adaptation, rather than living with the costs of inaction.
Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency said: “I am delighted that another key milestone in the Carlisle flood scheme has been completed and is now ready to protect homes and business from flooding this winter.
“It is vital that every effort is made to become more resilient to the effects that the climate emergency is having on our local towns, cities and communities.
“That’s why the Environment Agency is investing a record £5.2 billion in 2,000 new flood and coastal defences to better protect 336,000 properties across England by 2027. But we cannot do this alone.
“Alongside partners like Cumbria City Council, we will continue to worth with others to help communities adapt to more extreme weather and increasing sea levels we are experiencing.
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 phase two of this flood scheme is ready ahead of this winter.
“This complex flood scheme will provide one of the highest standards of protection in the country, and we will continue to work with all our partners and the community to improve Carlisle’s resilience to flooding in future.
“Whilst we can never guarantee that there will not be flooding, we hope that this scheme will bring peace of mind to people who live and work in Carlisle.
“We continue to advise everyone to visit Gov.uk website or search ‘know my flood risk’ to sign up for Environment Agency flood warnings, receive information on the risk in your area and find out more information.”
Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr John Mallinson, added: “A considerable level of investment has been secured for Carlisle’s flood defences and works by the Environment Agency, supported by partners, have resulted in better protection for the city and its rural areas.
“We have seen the devastation that flooding can cause and we support any measures that strengthen our defences.”