New £200 million Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme opens to Expressions of Interest (deadline 15 January 2021)

A £200 million programme to improve the resilience of communities at risk of flooding and coastal change across England opened to applications on Monday 9 November 2020.

The new Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme, managed by the Environment Agency, will result in 25 areas selected to pilot new and creative approaches to improve resilience to flooding and coastal change.

This could include planting trees and restoring peatland to reduce run-off into rivers or making changes in people’s homes so they can recover more quickly after flooding.

Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) and Coast Protection Authorities (CPAs) are being invited to express an interest in becoming one of these areas, with a deadline of Friday 15 January 2021.

Each area will receive approximately £6m between 2021 and 2027. The funding is separate and in addition to the £5.2bn programme of investment in flood and sea defences announced by the government in the March budget. Areas will be selected based on a range of criteria, including repeated significant flooding in the past.

The rest of the money will support other flooding and coastal resilience activities including the development of long-term investment pathways in the Thames and Humber Estuaries, Yorkshire and the Severn Valley.

The funding can be used for projects to improve resilience to flooding and coastal erosion, such as:

  • sustainable drainage systems and dual use water storage for flood attenuation and water resources, or rainwater harvesting;
  • building community and voluntary sector capacity to respond and recover, and
  • proactive approaches for making existing homes and businesses community infrastructure more flood resilient, such as installing flood doors, raising electrics off ground level, and using materials such as tiles that increase resistance to damage from water

LLFAs and CPAs will work together with partners to develop their expressions of interest by 15 January. The 25 selected areas will receive some initial funding to develop their project proposals into more detailed plans during spring 2021, before the projects formally begin from summer 2021.

The opening of the Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme coincides with the launch of the Environment Agency’s Flood Action Week (9 – 15 November), a public awareness campaign aimed at informing people in at-risk areas of what to do in the event of a flood.

Details about how to submit an Expression of Interest can be found on the GOV.UK website. The deadline for Expressions of Interest is Friday 15 January 2021.