Funding will be targeted at communities where 10 or more properties have flooded twice or more in the past 10 years.
The allowance will improve access to funding for smaller communities that often require more complex flood schemes where community-wide defences are not always viable.
It is expected that around 80 schemes will receive support over the next four years.
Communities will be selected during the Environment Agency’s annual refresh of the FCERM (Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management) capital programme and will be announced later this year.
We are pleased to see funding being made available to protect smaller communities. Current policy determines that funding is designated through a cost-benefit ratio which has seen more remote, sparsely populated, areas failing to achieve the stringent criterion for public flood defence funding.
We have previously called for a funding system that ensures rural communities are not disadvantaged by the nature of smaller populations and lower economic impacts in comparison to urban communities. This is set out fully in the NFU’s Levelling Up report.
The announcement is a step in the right direction. It is vital that rural communities are better protected from flood risk to ensure their future resilience.