Additional £38m awarded to 'major' sea defence project to protect Southsea from flooding

A ‘MAJOR’ project to protect Portsmouth from rising sea levels has been awarded an additional £38m to ensure it is completed amid ‘uncertain times.’

Friday, 4th March 2022, 5:52 pm
Updated Friday, 4th March 2022, 5:53 pm

The Environment Agency has granted the cash to the Southsea Coastal Scheme, on top of the £100m previously secured from government, to protect Southsea seafront.

Once completed, the project will span from Long Curtain Moat to Eastney – ensuring more than 10,000 homes and 700 businesses are kept safe from flooding.

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Artist impressions of how the area around Southsea Castle will look after the seafront enhancements.

The additional funding will enable the scheme to continue with its ambitious plans for the flood protection of the city, while ensuring it remains affordable in the light of the rapidly changing economic and construction outlooks.

Councillor Hugh Mason, Portsmouth City Council’s planning policy and city development boss, explained how the money was needed as construction costs rise. He said: ‘This is fantastic news for Portsmouth as it will allow us to defend our residents from flooding and ensure economic growth that will benefit the city for the next generation and beyond.

‘In addition, it will enhance our seafront by enabling it to become a “must visit” destination.

‘What is more, this additional money shields Portsmouth City Council from greater liabilities in relation to increasing construction costs during these uncertain times.’

Artist impressions of how the area around Southsea Castle will look after the seafront enhancements.

As reported, work began on the first section of the new defences at Long Curtain Moat last summer and is due to finish in August this year.

And the stretch of promenade between the Blue Reef Aquarium and the Pyramids, which includes the Southsea Castle area, closed in January for the work to begin, and will stay shut until November 2023.

Flood and coastal risk manager at the Environment Agency, Nick Gray, said: ‘The Environment Agency’s additional funding will help deliver flood protection to thousands of homes and businesses in Portsmouth. Our partnership with Portsmouth City Council has shown what can be achieved when working together.’

Southsea Coastal Scheme project director, Guy Mason, added: ‘This extra funding is the result of extremely hard work undertaken by both organisations and highlights the importance of flood defence in future proofing major cities from the accelerating impacts of the climate crisis.

‘We will continue to work together to ensure the successful delivery of this major scheme which is the UK's largest local-authority led coastal defences’ project.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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