Funding secured for new £25million Lowestoft flood barrier

A project to build a tidal barrier to protect Lowestoft from future flooding has moved a huge step closer today after the £25million needed was secured.

The final piece in the financial jigsaw came with a £3m cash injection from Suffolk County Council along with confirmation of support from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

It means the team behind the project – which hopes the barrier will drive economic growth as well as providing vital protection for the town – can now trigger a £7m grant from DEFRA which was promised on the basis that all other funding was secured.

The cash pot also includes up to £10m from the New Anglia LEP Growth Fund; £2.6m from the Anglian Eastern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee flood levy fund; and around £1m from Waveney District Council, largely towards project development costs.

The aim now is to have a project outline ready for Environment Agency approval in April or May. Construction of the scheme would take around two years.

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney said: “This is a real boost for Lowestoft and I am delighted that we now have a firm commitment to the funding we need to deliver this important scheme. Partners have been working tirelessly behind the scenes and this will make a huge difference to the future of the town.”

Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee said: “I am very pleased to announce our investment of £3m into the important flood defence work planned for Lowestoft.

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“This, alongside the much welcomed commitment of the LEP is vital to the economic growth and development of the town to ensure Lowestoft prospers in years to come.”

Waveney leader Colin Law said: “We have been working very hard, in partnership, to get to this point and I could not be more delighted. A viable, permanent flood protection scheme is vital for Lowestoft and this latest development shows that all our efforts have paid off.”

Mark Pendlington, chairman of the New Anglia LEP said: “We are very pleased to be able to support this scheme. We have a made a clear commitment from our own resources to a project of great importance for Lowestoft and Suffolk.”