Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey visited Morecambe to officially open the new wave reflection wall.
Funded by £10.8m central government grant-in-aid funding, the wave reflection wall defence will reduce flood risk to 11,400 homes and has a design life of 100 years, taking into consideration climate change and sea level rise.
Led by Lancaster City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency, the wall consists of 4km of reinforced concrete defences that will provide protection against a potential major flood event.
Keith Ashcroft, Environment Agency area director for Cumbria and Lancashire, said: “In the face of challenges like a changing climate, rising sea levels and more severe weather, the Environment Agency is working hard to protect people, homes and businesses from flooding.
“The Morecambe Wave Reflection Wall is a great example of partnership: by working together the Environment Agency, Lancaster City Council and engineers VBAJV Ltd have created an exceptionally value-for-money sea defence.”
Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey thanked Morecambe MP David Morris for making the case for the wall to government, adding: “Morecambe’s new Wave Reflection Wall, which has been entirely funded by the government, is absolutely fabulous and I want to thank the Council and other partners in their support in achieving this.”
The wall has been designed to fit in with the local environment, and also includes a nod to Eric Morecambe - with the shape of his glasses engraved in an end section.
“In addition to protecting 11,400 residential properties, the wall will also reduce the risk of flooding to 2,246 commercial properties, reduce the risk of flooding to major highway and promenade infrastructure and help to safeguard the local economy.
Lancaster City Councillor Janice Hanson, said: “The design is second to none and as well as the protection it provides, the wall has really helped to enhance the promenade and reflect the beauty of its setting in Morecambe Bay.”
Richard Walsh, project manager at engineers VBA, said: “VBA is extremely proud to be involved in a scheme that brings a wide range of benefits to the local community, not only protecting homes and businesses from flooding, but providing a lasting legacy to residents and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.”
Residents at risk of flooding should always prepare in advance by going online at http://bit.ly/QEBvEJ and signing up for free flood warnings. Alternatively, they can telephone the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188 and find out what they can do to protect themselves and their property when flooding hits.
It is also important to plan how you’ll respond to a flood. Visit https://www.gov.uk/prepare-for-flooding/future-flooding and use the template to make a personal or community wide flood action plan.