£12.1 million flood defences in Lancaster officially launched

A major flood risk management scheme on the River Lune, designed to protect hundreds of properties from the risk of flooding, has been launched

Covering the Caton Road and Aldrens Lane area, the new scheme reduces flood risk to more than 170 homes and businesses at a cost of £12.1 million – substantially increasing protection from the previous defences.

In partnership with the Environment Agency, Lancaster City Council have built new and improved existing flood walls and is making significant improvements to surface water flooding in the area.

Work during the scheme also improved and fully resurfaced the Millennium cycle path and the project has planted 3000 trees in the city to date. 5000 trees will be planted in total when work on the surface water flood mitigation is completed.

This equates to five new trees for every one lost during the construction phase.

Play and recreation facilities have also been improved, including new park benches and entrance features. Additionally, thrill seekers can soon make use of a new climbing wall utilising eight of the pre-cast flood walls not used during construction.

Early delivery of defences

The project team secured £3.85 million in European Regional Development Funding as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 towards the scheme, and all of this funding has now been claimed.

This means that the defences have been delivered around two years earlier as a result.

To mark the official launch of the fluvial flood defences, Lancaster City Council and the Environment Agency hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and presentation next to the River Lune flood gate close to the Holiday Inn on October 1, 2021.

Councillor Caroline Jackson, leader of Lancaster City Council, said:

“The 2015 floods that followed Storm Desmond caused devastation to businesses along Caton Road.

“Many said they would not be able to survive another catastrophic flood and would rather relocate than run the risk, so it was vital for our economy that we improved the defences along this stretch of the Lune.

A number of homes will also be better protected and the scheme has brought other benefits such as the resurfacing of the cycle track and planting of new trees.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the huge amount of work that has been undertaken by officers in the city council, in partnership with the Environment Agency, construction partners, a number of local businesses, and our communities in delivering this vitally important project.”