Record levels of funding for flood defences

Minister Julie James today said the Welsh Government was ‘keeping communities safe from the growing risk of climate change’ as she confirmed record levels of funding for flood risk management.

Speaking in the Senedd, the Climate Change Minister confirmed a £75m investment as she published the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Programme for 2023-24.

The money will be given to Risk Management Authorities to reduce flood and coastal risk across Wales.

Flooding protection forms a key part of both the Programme for Government and the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.

The Programme for Government includes an ambitious target to provide increased flood protection to more than 45,000 Welsh homes and a commitment to expand natural flood management approaches which will to help tackle the climate and nature emergencies. The Co-operation Agreement includes a joint commitment to invest more in flood management and mitigation and plan to respond to the increased risk of flooding.

Announcing the funding, the Minister said:

There can be no doubt that this investment is required.

Recent reports by the International Panel on Climate Change, and the UK Climate Change Committee have reiterated the need for continued investment in mitigation, adaptation and resilience to respond to global warming challenges.

We know that the impact of flooding would have been worse, were it not for our network of defences and the tireless work of our Risk Management Authorities.

That is why we continue to provide record levels of investment, to provide our Risk Management Authorities with the means to construct and maintain the infrastructure we rely on to keep our communities safe from the challenges posed by climate change.

Designated Member Sian Gwenllian MS said:

This record investment is one important strand of work being progressed through the Co-operation Agreement to protect communities, homes and business across Wales.

As our climate changes, the chances of floods has increased and in recent years we have all seen the awful impact this can have on people’s lives.

As well as taking action today to strengthen flood defences, we are also working together with a view to the medium to long term. Alongside confirmation of funding for flood defences for 2023-24, we have commissioned Professor Elwen Evans to conduct an independent review into Section 19 and NRW flooding and the National Infrastructure Commission is looking at how the nationwide likelihood of flooding can be minimised by 2050.