£27 million flood defence scheme opens in Blackpool
A £27.1 million flood defence scheme to reduce flood risk to 4,800 properties in Blackpool has been officially opened by Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Councillor Fred Jackson, with the Chair of the Environment Agency Emma Howard Boyd.
The new defence at Anchorsholme safeguards Blackpool’s iconic seafront tramway, which is enjoyed by the thousands of visitors each year who flock to the quintessential British seaside resort. It also helps protect vital infrastructure and a major pumping station.
A kilometre of concrete sea wall has been replaced, maintaining access to the beach, and a new promenade attracts residents and visitors with views over the Irish Sea. The promenade also links the seafront to the nearby Anchorsholme Park, which is being redeveloped. The new defences will help protect Blackpool’s tourism and recreational income for the next 100 years.
The scheme forms part of the Fylde Peninsula Coastal Programme, a partnership between Wyre, Blackpool and Fylde councils and the Environment Agency to reduce flood risk to people and develop historic and natural environments. Anchorsholme together with the Rossall project, which is due to complete next year forms one of the largest coast defence projects in the country.
Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Councillor Fred Jackson said: “I am delighted that this vital sea defence scheme has been officially opened. We now have a sea wall that will provide much stronger flood protection for years to come.
“We also have a wonderful new promenade for all to enjoy which makes access from the seafront to the park and town so much easier.
“The project has been both an incredible challenge and an incredible achievement for all the organisations involved.
“I am also extremely grateful to the neighbours and the local community for being so patient during the construction work. However, I trust that they are delighted with the final result and the additional regeneration work that is being undertaken.”
Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “Anchorsholme’s new sea wall was made possible thanks not only to £20 million of government funding, but also the huge support of local government and other partners.
“The result is brilliant news for the community – regenerating the area and providing better protection for almost 5,000 homes and Blackpool’s iconic tram network ahead of winter.”
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: “Blackpool’s iconic beachfront is visited by thousands of families each year. This new coastal defence, delivered in partnership with local councils, will better protect the town’s popular tourist attractions as well as nearly 5,000 homes and businesses. It’s great news and demonstrates how our work benefits people and the environment.”
Dean Banks, Balfour Beatty Managing Director for UK Construction Services, said: “The completion of the Anchorsholme flood defence scheme will provide benefits to the Blackpool community now and for years to come.
“Our experience and flood prevention capabilities have enabled us to successfully deliver multiple schemes for customers such as the Environment Agency and Blackpool Council, reducing the risk of flooding to thousands of properties and businesses.
“We look forward to developing our relationship with Blackpool Council across its portfolio and to supporting the Environment Agency in the delivery of on-going flood prevention throughout the North West.”