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River Severn Partnership receive £36 million to address impact of flooding

Shropshire Council has welcomed yesterday’s announcement that the new River Severn Partnership is to receive £36m from the Government to help address the impact of flooding in towns and cities that sit alongside the river.

Led by Shropshire Council and the Environment Agency, the River Severn Partnership was launched in late 2019 and aims to take a strategic view of flood and water resource management along the River Severn. It brings together councils along the length of the river, Natural Resources Wales and the new regional water planning group Water Resources West. The partnership is also supported by a cross-party group of 46 MPs whose constituencies are affected by the River Severn and is led by Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski.

The funding award will help the Partnership to support its aims and will ensure it can progress to delivery and enable appropriate modelling and testing to now take place.

Peter Nutting, Leader of Shropshire Council, said: “Parts of Shropshire have been affected by flooding from the River Severn and its catchment tributaries for generations and we experienced another severe impact earlier this year. We recognise that more must be done to remove this threat, and we were instrumental in forming and leading a partnership of all councils along the length of the River Severn to tackle this problem.

“Following the visits of the Secretary of State for Environment and the minister for flooding during the recent floods, we have continued to press Government for recognition and support. The announcement of this funding is extremely welcome and is a big step towards removing the threat of flooding in Shrewsbury and other places along the length of the river. It will make a huge difference to the futures of towns, cities, residents and businesses that sit on the River Severn.”

Mark Barrow, Shropshire Council’s executive director of place, and chairman of the River Severn Partnership , said: “The River Severn has a long history of flooding and this is a real constraint to both the resilience of towns and cities along the corridor and their growth plans, as well as to businesses which are impacted upon by flood and water resource issues.

"The River Severn Partnership can now progress the strategic modelling work to progress potential solutions which will manage and mitigate flood and water resource issues along the entire length of the Severn – including exploring energy generation opportunities. This is an innovative partnership of local authorities, government agencies and other stakeholders that have come together with the common aim of removing the threat of flooding and being able to view the river as an asset.”

Key opportunities through the River Severn Partnership are:

  • Place based resilience – align water management and growth ambitions along the River Severn corridor.
  • Informing long term investment and planning decisions – up to date hydraulic model for the Severn.
  • Reducing economic blight in places experiencing repeat flooding: Shrewsbury, Bewdley, Ironbridge, Worcester, Tewkesbury, Gloucester.
  • Unlocking opportunities for developing the river as an asset as part of sustainable growth – Shrewsbury Big Town Plan, Worcester City Masterplan, Ashchurch Garden Town, Gloucestershire 2040 vision.
  • Ensuring infrastructure and future infrastructure investment resilient to climate change underpinning future connectivity.
  • Contribute to wider environmental objectives – assisting future water security for sector based growth and explore the potential for energy generation initiatives.

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