£41m flood defence scheme now complete

A £41m scheme to better protect 400 businesses and homes from flooding in Mytholmroyd is being officially opened.

Construction of key flood defences is complete, following three years of main scheme construction.

Joint working between the Environment Agency and Calderdale Council means the town and its infrastructure is also more resilient to the impacts of climate change

Funding was secured for the scheme following the devastating floods of Boxing Day 2015 when 2,781 homes and 1,008 businesses were affected throughout Calderdale.

Mytholmroyd experienced its highest ever recorded flood with approximately 300 properties and 70 businesses being flooded as well as the church, church hall, two schools and a community centre.

Since then, the Environment Agency has worked with Calderdale Council and alongside members of Calderdale Partnership Board. Design and construction was completed by VBA Joint Venture.

The completed project includes new, raised and improved flood walls, the relocation of Caldene Bridge, widening of the river channel at two key locations and flood proofing of many buildings next to the River Calder and Cragg Brook.

Councillor Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for climate change and resilience, said: “The completion of the Flood Alleviation Scheme is a landmark moment for the entire Mytholmroyd community.

“Bringing greater protection to residents and businesses is a long-standing priority for the council and our partner organisations, as we continue to work together to increase flood resilience and tackle the climate emergency.

“The complex Mytholmroyd scheme has been a challenging part of the range of measures to reduce flood risk throughout Calderdale, but one that we’ve been proud to be involved in, because of what it means to the local community to have extra protection.”

Tracy Brabin

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “This scheme is a brilliant example of how the Combined Authority, Calderdale Council and the Environment Agency can work together to protect thousands of homes and businesses from the ever-growing threat of extreme flooding caused by climate change.

“When I became Mayor of West Yorkshire, I pledged to tackle the climate emergency and protect our environment, as well as supporting local businesses and championing our regional economy.

“We know extreme weather and major floods are more likely to happen in future and, as Mayor, I will continue to work to ensure more communities around our region are better protected and to lobby Government for the funding we need.”

Mark Cronshaw, framework director for VBA, added: “We are very pleased to be able to join the Environment Agency and Calderdale Council in marking the completion of this important and complex project to build and improve Mytholmroyd’s flood defences, helping better protect some 400 homes and businesses.

“VBA – a joint venture comprising VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and SNC Lavalin’s Atkins business – is proud to have had the opportunity to deliver this significant work, and I would like to thank everyone involved for their commitment, dedication and collaborative approach shown throughout.”

The project has been funded partly by Government and partnership funding, through Defra, and contributions from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF), the local levy and the Department for Education.

The scheme received £4.5m funding from the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1bn plus package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region delivered in partnership with West Yorkshire Combined Authority.