Published: 08:00, 14 October 2014
The leader of Tonbridge and Malling borough council has secured a £2.5 million bid for the LeighFlood Storage Area to be included in a bid for Regional Growth Funding.
Earlier this year at the request of leader, Nicholas Heslop, requested that improvements to the storage area were included in key policy strategies.
At a meeting of the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership last Tuesday, the bid was one of a package approved by political and business leaders.
Mr Heslop also committed the borough council to providing further technical and financial support of £100k towards development and design work for increasing the capactiy at the Leigh flood storage area.
He said: "Following the floods in late 2013/early 2014 and subsequent assessment of impact on communities and the local economy, the need to bring forward previously planned improvements to the capacity of the Leigh flood storage area has become compelling.
“We know how important the flood storage area is to protecting Tonbridge, Hildenborough and communities further downstream including East Peckham" - Nicholas Heslop...
“We know how important the flood storage area is to protecting Tonbridge, Hildenborough and communities further downstream including East Peckham.
"These areas suffered severe flooding last winter as the capacity of the storage area was insufficient to manage the amount of flood water in the upper Medway catchment.
"We know too well that many homes and businesses were seriously flooded and fear of this happening again still exists for many.The fear and threat of further events clouds the vitality of communities and creates uncertainty for business and has become a drag on future investment.
“These capacity improvements have been costed at £11.2M. Potential funding strands are being identified and the scheme is subject to announcement in the Autumn Statement.
"We are confident of an award of core funding but further partnership funding will be required, hence the bid to RGF.With RGF support, the scheme will be fully deliverable with works starting in 17/18.”