Major engineering works designed to increase the flood resilience of Keswick have been officially opened this week.
Cumbria County Council has delivered the £2.5 million project which will provide improved protection from the risk of flooding from surface water for 118 homes and properties in the Penrith Road and Ambleside Road area of the town.
The £2.5 million project includes:
- A new flood storage basin at Springs Field
- A new pumping station underneath Penrith Road adjacent to the River Greta
- A new control ‘kiosk’ in Wivel Park to manage the pumping operation when the River Greta level rises.
The new pumping station also incorporates a new bus shelter, faced in natural stone to ensure the structure is in keeping with the local area.
Improvements to the ‘castlehead drain’ between the storage basin and the River Greta have also been completed.
The project has been funded by Cumbria County Council, the Environment Agency, and the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee with a £30,000 contribution from Keswick Flood Action Group.
As Lead Local Flood Authority for Cumbria, the County Council leads on the local flood risk management strategy for surface water flooding. The Penrith Road area of Keswick previously formed one of the greatest areas of surface water flood risk in the county in terms of scale, frequency and impact on the local community. The Penrith Road area has been subject to significant flood events over the last 15 years, most recently during Storm Desmond in December 2015.
Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways, said: “I’m delighted the Penrith Road scheme is now up and running, providing greater protection from the risk of flooding. This work started last summer and involved the long-term closure of Penrith Road
“I would like to thank our contractors and staff for their excellent work on this important project. I’d also like to thank the local community for their patience and understanding throughout the construction works.
“The County Council is currently looking at a number of communities throughout Cumbria to assess what flood risk management solutions might work best for them. We will be aiming to make a strong case to partners and funders in order to deliver more schemes like Penrith Road for other communities in the years to come.”
Lynne Jones, Chair of Keswick Flood Action Group, said: “Keswick Flood Action Group would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ once more to all those locals and organisations who supported KFAG with donations and so have made this final piece of the work possible. Thanks also to the whole community for their forbearance whilst Penrith Road was closed during the work. This new system should ensure that properties from Ambleside Road to Penrith Road are much better protected from surface water flooding and that Penrith Road, as a key route in and out of town, can remain passable in all but the most extreme rainfall events.”