Welsh Government sets aside £7.4m to improve flood defences in Rhyl and Colwyn Bay


Suzanne Jordan

MORE than seven million pounds has been put aside to improve vital coastal defences in Rhyl and Colwyn Bay.

Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food, confirmed that the Welsh Government was to make an extra £2 million available to help repair flood defences in towns across Wales that have been affected by recent storms.

A total of £9.5 million has been allocated to Borth, Colwyn Bay and West Rhyl. Five million is set to go to Colwyn Bay and £2.4 million to West Rhyl.

In Rhyl, defences and infrastructure which sustained damage included the secondary sea wall (which failed in the December 2013 floods).

Mr Davies said: “I am determined to help those authorities who face significant costs to repair essential flood defences.

“I am working with my Ministerial colleagues, particularly in respect of regeneration, local government and heritage to co-ordinate our whole government response to the floods and to identify other potential sources of funding.”

More that 150 homes in Rhyl were swamped when the highest tidal surge for more than 20 years battered the North Wales coast in December.

Hundreds of people were evacuated to a Rest Centre at Rhyl leisure centre and about 2000 properties across North Wales lost power, including 780 in Rhyl.

A relief fund was set up by Rhyl mayor Andy Rutherford to help the hundreds of people whose homes were flooded.

On January 17, the Journal reported that Rhyl flood victims can now apply for first stage of the relief fund, after the fund reached about £21,500.

Ann Jones, AM for the Vale of Clwyd, welcomed the news that the Welsh Government were providing extra funding to DCC.

She said: “It is very important that we learn the lessons of the December storm and this goes some way to reassure residents that work is to take place to prevent flooding in the immediate future.

“The Minister’s full review into what needs to happen has just begun and I look forward to seeing how this recommends improving protection for the whole of the Vale of Clwyd.”

Mr Davies added that he was still exploring a range of funding options both within and outside of the Welsh Government and discussions were ongoing with the UK Government and the European Commission.

He said: “We are going to have to continue to make tough decisions into the future about how we defend our coast in light of rising sea levels and climate change.”

“We are working across Welsh Government departments to ensure that all relevant sectors are aware of support available.”

Advice and support for businesses is available through www.business.wales.gov.uk

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