Droitwich-based UK Flood Barriers has been chosen by the Environment Agency to provide a self-closing flood barrier as part of a scheme to reduce the risk of flooding in Cockermouth.
The scheme, afforded planning consent earlier in the year by Allerdale Borough Council, marks the first time that a self-closing flood barrier will be used to protect a community in the UK.
Situated in front of the existing flood wall, the barrier will be tailor-made to meet the exact requirement of the projects and then implemented along 120 linear metres of the riverbank of the river Cocker. When deployed, it will rise to one metre, giving an extra half metre of protection above the wall.
Cockermouth was badly hit by floods in 2009 when the Rivers Derwent and Cocker both broke their banks after a record 314mm of rain fell in just 24 hours, resulting in over £200 million worth of damage.
Frank Kelly, CEO of UKFB, commented:
“The SCFB® passive flood system is undoubtedly the most effective product of its kind, not only for its ability to provide maximum protection, but to do so with minimum impact on the surroundings, and at a reasonable cost. The product has been deployed successfully across the world, including projects in ROI, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, the USA and Australia, and we’re thrilled that it has finally been specified in a government-funded project in the UK, where we manufacture our products.
Keith Roddy, Environment Agency Project Manager adds:
“The people of Cockermouth presented the Environment Agency with two challenges when we started designing their flood risk management scheme – they wanted us to reduce the risk of flooding to their homes and businesses, and they wanted us to maintain the heritage of this beautiful market town.
“The SCFB® will allow us to provide increased protection when the river is in flood, but maintains the river views for residents and tourists, and maintains the connection people have with this stretch of river. The barrier will complement the overall scheme, which is using a series of embankments, walls and gates to reduce the risk of flooding to 360 homes and 55 businesses in Cockermouth, and we look forward to seeing it in place.”