The board of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has approved £8.2m from its Local Growth Fund towards the second phase of the Environment Agency’s work to protect Great Yarmouth against flooding.
The £39m Great Yarmouth Flood Defences project aims to protect housing and businesses through the construction and refurbishment of 3.8 kilometres of flood defence walls, unlocking economic growth in the town estimated to create:
- 7,100 new jobs
- 1000 new properties
- 500 new businesses
- £405m per annum GVA growth for Great Yarmouth
Central government money for flood risk management together with a number of other sources will fund the remaining £31m. The Environment Agency carry out the project, subject to its own appraisal of the scheme. Work is expected to start in autumn 2019.
New Anglia LEP’s total Growth Deal from Government is £290m to 2021. Through investment in skills capital projects, innovation centres, transport and infrastructure projects and targeted business support it is estimated to create more than 54,000 new jobs, 6,800 new homes and to generate more than £600m in additional public and private investment.
Doug Field, chair of New Anglia LEP, said “This is an exciting time for Great Yarmouth. Our energy coast is at the centre of the world’s largest market for offshore wind and is of huge strategic importance to our economy.
“Safeguarding the town’s coastal economy, allowing homes to be built and businesses to grow without fear of disruption is key to its future prosperity. This project will allow that to happen and the LEP is delighted to be able to contribute.”
Dr Charles Beardall, Area Director at the Environment Agency, said: “We are delighted that the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership will be making such a significant financial contribution to this vital flood risk project in Great Yarmouth. This comes after many months of close co-operation between Great Yarmouth Borough, its Tidal Defences Business Partnership and New Anglia, and recognises the importance of flood risk infrastructure to providing economic growth.”
In a joint statement, Cllr Graham Plant, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, and Cllr Carl Smith, chairman of the Environment Committee, said: “This brilliant and positive decision for our borough reflects the strength of our funding bid and the borough’s economic prospects, as well as successful lobbying and partnership work by the borough council, Environment Agency and local businesses.
“We would like to thank the LEP for their investment in this vital infrastructure, which is central to reducing flood risk to thousands of homes and businesses, while attracting and sustaining business investment and jobs in key industries that are essential to the prosperity of our local and regional economies.”
Keith Vincent, chairman of the Tidal Defences Business Partnership, said: “Great Yarmouth’s Tidal Defences are a huge benefit to us all, they protect our homes, our jobs, and the highways and infrastructure we need to ensure everything works safely and smoothly on a day by day basis. As businesses they protect our places of work, our staff and equipment; essentially they give us the confidence to continue to invest in, and grow our businesses in Great Yarmouth.
“This crucial and really welcome investment by the LEP in Great Yarmouth is a key goal which the Tidal Defences Business Partnership has been working towards and will help the Borough to realise its full economic potential, unlocking huge opportunities for businesses based in the Borough.”