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08/11/2018

£16m Flood Protection Project Complete In Port Clarence

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A £16 million flood protection scheme has been completed in Port Clarence, protecting around 350 homes and boosting the habitat for local wildlife.

The Port Clarence and Greatham South project was delivered by the Environment Agency in collaboration with local industry.

The project saw new flood defences built at Port Clarence to reduce flood risk from the River Tees, as well as existing flood embankments raised along Greatham Creek.

New flood defences were also built to the north of RSPB Saltholme Nature Reserve, and breached the old flood defence to allow the new area to fill up with water, creating more than 36 hectares of new inter-tidal habitat.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: "When I visited Teesside in 2017 I was able to speak with the local industry representatives, the Environment Agency and the RSPB about the plans for this new flood defence scheme.

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"I am delighted it is now open, better protecting hundreds of homes and businesses, helping the local economy and enhancing the natural environment by creating an important new habitat for wildlife and birds.

"This £16 million scheme forms part of the government's commitment to better protect 300,000 thousand homes from flooding. We are investing over £2.3 billion across the country – boosting our resilience as a nation, helping our communities to grow and prosper."

The Environment Agency also worked closely with the RSPB and Natural England to create a scheme which maximises benefits for the internationally designated habitat which includes rare birds as well as seals. The new habitats also feature both a brand new bird hide and seal hide to give nature-lovers a close-up view of the local species.

Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, added: "Floods destroy lives and livelihoods. This project is a perfect example of how flood schemes can benefit everyone: communities, businesses and wildlife. We have worked closely with our partners to design a scheme which will provide better flood protection for years to come whilst also helping bird and seal populations to thrive.

"This forms part of our commitment to invest over £75million on flood defences across the north-east of England between 2015 and 2021, better protecting thousands of homes and businesses."

(CM)

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