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£500,000 to strengthen flood defences

Volunteers and farmers battle with floodwater during the Boxing Day floods of 2015. (s)
Volunteers and farmers battle with floodwater during the Boxing Day floods of 2015. (s)
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A £300,000 flood funding boost for Barnoldswick has been welcomed by campaigners in the town.

And a further £200,000 looks set to be rubber-stamped for Earby flood work as well.

Volunteers and farmers battle with floodwater during the Boxing Day floods of 2015. (s)

Volunteers and farmers battle with floodwater during the Boxing Day floods of 2015. (s)

The Environment Agency is set to approve funding for flood alleviation work at Barnoldswick’s Ghyll Meadows.

The funding will pay for a new culvert beneath the Ghyll Meadows estate.

Local councillor David Whipp leads on flood prevention work in Pendle and has been “hands on” tackling flooding at Ghyll Meadows for 20 years.

On Boxing Day 2015, Coun. Whipp successfully mobilised scores of volunteers to sandbag Skipton Road and prevent flooding on the estate.

“I’m delighted that we are finally getting approval for this flood funding,” he said.

“We’ve been working hard to get this project for the past two years – now the final hurdle has been overcome, I can’t wait to see work begun on the ground!

“Around 25 properties on the 1960s estate are at risk of flooding – something that became a repeated reality for many householders around the turn of the century, with some people flooded out three times.

“About 15 years ago, we got a new length of culvert installed from Coates Lane to Meadow Way and this kept the estate flood free for many years, but in November and December 2015 it got touch and go with rising water levels.

“Things came to a head on Boxing Day when I sounded the alarm at 8am in the morning.

“There was a magnificent community effort with between one and two hundred people working to keep floodwater from people’s homes.

“We began by digging up grass verges to fill makeshift ‘sandbags’ and eventually put around 60 tons of material along Skipton Road to hold back the water.

“We then got three agricultural machines to pump the water downstream of the houses.

“Following the flooding, myself and colleagues got funding from Barnoldswick Town and Pendle councils for a wall along Skipton Road to do the job of the temporary sandbags.

“And we’ve been working on getting a new culvert installed to reduce the flood risk still further.

“Staff in Pendle Council’s engineering team have designed a new culvert and applied for funding from the Environment Agency to pay for its installation.

“It’s fantastic news that this has finally been approved.

“All being well, it should be possible to get work started on the ground in a few months time.

“It’ll be a great relief to the homeowners who’ve worried about flooding when we’ve had heavy rainfall over the last 20 years.”

Meanwhile in Earby, Coun. Whipp reports that a £200,000 ‘local levy’ contribution to the Victoria Clough culvert project is set to be rubber stamped at the April meeting of the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

Environment Agency Grant in Aid funding for the project will be decided in the near future and Pendle Council has pledged £30,000 towards the culvert repair project.