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Richmond Council secures Defra Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation funding

8 April 2021

Richmond Council will receive a share of £150 million in funding to improve community resilience to flooding in the Beverley Brook catchment area, as part of the government’s new Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme.

The funding will be provided by the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs and will be managed by the Environment Agency. The Beverley Brook catchment project is one of 25 schemes selected nationwide to trial a wide range of different approaches to flood resilience with programmes tailored to local needs.

Initial funding allocated for Richmond upon Thames is £40,000 which is to be used to develop a detailed project plan and business case. Following this next stage each of the successful projects will potentially receive up to £6 million. The project in Richmond upon Thames will modernise flood risk management in the Beverley Brook catchment working to restore a more natural watercourse within an urban environment. It will deliver innovation, build resilience to flood risk and climate change working with communities to do so.

The project aims to disconnect four hectares of impermeable surfaces from the public drainage system using a blend of nature based solutions and integrated water management measures to directly build resilience to flooding and climate change..

A key innovation of this project is the partnership with Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), who run the London Wetland Centre in Barnes, and the Friends of Barnes Common. This will lead to communities co-designing, co-creating and co-managing all nature-based solutions.

The Environment Agency received a total of 79 expressions of interest from councils across the country, with Richmond Council being selected as one of the 25 areas to receive funding. Richmond upon Thames is only one of two boroughs chosen in London. The project will be delivered over the next six years.

Andy Graham, Senior Project Manager (Community Wetlands), Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) said:
'WWT is really excited to be working with Richmond Council and Friends of Barnes Common to create a more resilient and natural Richmond. Using nature-based solutions like urban wetlands and river restoration to address climate change and flood risk will keep people safer and make Richmond a healthier, happier place to live, work and play.'

Mike Hildesley, Chairman of Friends of Barnes Common said:
'We are thrilled to be partnering with Richmond and WWT on this project. Not only is it important to build up flood resilience, but a great opportunity for the Community to learn more about water conservation, rainwater harvesting, water quality, climate resilient gardening and other matters which are vital to sustainability in an urban context.'

More information on the Flood and coastal resilience innovation programme.

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Up to: April 2021

Updated: 8 April 2021