Building work has started on tidal flood walls which will protect homes and businesses in Lowestoft.
The project is supported by £10m from New Anglia LEP’s Growth Deal with Government.
The ground-breaking on Friday 21 May marks the first phase of construction, which will see tidal flood walls and a tidal barrier offering essential flood protection to 1,500 homes and 825 businesses.
C-J Green, Chair of New Anglia LEP, said: “This work is of vital importance to Lowestoft, protecting businesses, homes and infrastructure from the kind of flooding we saw in 2013. Businesses need certainty to be able to grow and flourish and this scheme will help provide that, making sure employment and development sites around the town are protected long into the future.
“There is significant investment coming into Lowestoft – through the Towns Fund, Heritage Action Zones and local funds – and it is great to see this important work getting started. It will help to secure the future of all of those investments too and deliver ongoing economic growth for the town.”
The tidal flood walls will be a combination of fixed concrete flood walls, flood gates and demountable defences. Construction of Phase 1 of the project, the tidal flood walls will be complete by May 2022. The tidal barrier construction will complete in spring 2026.
Cllr David Ritchie, Cabinet Member for Planning and Coastal Management at East Suffolk Council and Chair of the Project Board, said: “The Lowestoft sea walls will form a key part of the regeneration of our most easterly town. Lowestoft has proven that it is worth investing in and we have seen that confirmed by the recent funding awards, including the £43m awarded to the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project by the Government in July 2020 as part of the Green Recovery Fund. This was the largest single award to any scheme in the country and part of a £170m pot for national flood protection projects.
“The sea walls will pave the way for the new tidal barrier, and they will incorporate glass flood walls, which will include words and artwork designed by local children to maintain the town’s important connection to the sea. We are delighted to mark the start of construction today”.
The project is funded through a combination of funding from the Government’s Green Recovery Fund, New Anglia LEP’s Growth Deal, Flood Defence Grant in Aid, Local Levy and contributions from Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council.