A MULTI-MILLION scheme to keep residents of Burton and South Derbyshire dry has officially opened.
Today, the Environment Agency opened the Lower Dove flood scheme in South Derbyshire, which has reduced the risk of flooding to 1,600 homes and major commercial properties.
It is hoped there will be no repeats of the devastating floods of 2000 which bought misery to hundreds of homes. It comes just two days after the sad death of Ron Buxton who campaigned for the flood defences in the area.
Construction of the £8.7million scheme began in September 2012, and it consists of around 5km of new and improved flood defences on the border of Staffordshire and Derbyshire.
The work has involved improving existing defences along the Foston Brook, in Scropton, and raising and extending embankments for the River Dove in Hatton, Scropton and Egginton. Improvement works to protect the railway embankment at Scropton have also been carried out.
The scheme, which has been largely funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was officially opened with the unveiling of a plaque by Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire.
Dan Rogerson, Defra minister, said: “The new flood defences will (protect homes) and build a stronger local economy by giving businesses the confidence to invest in the area.
“We have invested more than £6 million in the project, while local businesses and communities have shown the effectiveness of partnership working by getting behind the scheme and investing a further £2 million.”
The work to reduce the risk of flooding has enabled Hatton-based Nestlé to expand its site and create around 400 jobs, after it contributed £1.65 million to the scheme.
Nestlé, the construction company and Dove Valley Community Project has already joined the Environment Agency to carry out planting around the scheme.