£19 million allocated for flood protection projects in NI

Northern Ireland Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has allocated £19 million for flood protection projects across the North in her 2021/22 budget.

It includes £11 million to progress numerous flood alleviation projects to improve flood protection to properties located within significant flood risk areas including Belfast, Newcastle, Lisburn and Newry. An additional £8 million has been allocated to the Belfast Tidal flood alleviation scheme to enhance tidal flood risk management for Belfast.

The minister made the announcement during a visit to the £500,000 Holywell Burn flood alleviation scheme in the Kilbegs Road area of Antrim. The Hollywell Burn project started in February 2021 and is due for completion in Autumn 2021.

Minister Mallon said: “Today I was pleased to visit Hollywell Burn to see progress on my Department’s investment in flood alleviation works. I have seen first-hand the devastation and destruction flooding can bring, leaving behind not only a huge clean-up operation but a genuine fear every time there is heavy rainfall.

“I want to do my part in helping to prevent it as much as possible and bring some comfort and reassurance to people that have experienced flooding in the past.

I committed during my time as minister to taking action to protect homes and businesses from flooding, and I am following through on this commitment by allocating £19 million in funding for flood alleviation schemes across the North in my 2020/21 budget, an increase of £11 million from last year.

“Being on the ground today at Holywell Burn gave me the opportunity to see how the new 410m floodwall and earth embankment is being constructed. This vital flooding infrastructure will reduce the risk of flooding to approximately 18 commercial properties in Kilbegs Business Park when it is completed in the autumn.

“I am also pleased that a further three flood alleviation projects, on the La Salle, Flushbridge and Glenbrook rivers, have commenced in 2021. As a result of these schemes, 424 properties will have enhanced flood protection once complete. Additional flood protection projects in high-risk areas including Belfast, Newcastle and Newry are currently being procured, with contract awards expected during the year.

“I look forward to seeing more schemes like this getting off the ground across the North that will make a real difference to people’s lives.”