£4m funding for Thatcham Flood protection!

West Berkshire Council has been allocated a Government grant of £4million which was approved by the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and the Environment Agency board during February of this year. This funding will enable the completion of vital flood defence work in Thatcham over the coming years.

The cash has been allocated as part of the Governments six year FCRM capital settlement and will enable West Berkshire Council to complete all the flood defence reservoirs originally proposed as part of the Surface Water Management Plan for Thatcham. The remaining reservoirs at Dunstan Park and south east Thatcham will be completed in 2017 and 2018 respectively, eleven years on from the storm that devastated Thatcham in July 2007.

These projects are in addition to the £1.2m scheme at Tull Way in Thatcham and the flood attenuation pond at Cold Ash Hill that was completed in 2014.

Garth Simpson, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Highways and Transport said, “This is great news. I’m delighted that we have been given the funding to provide comprehensive flood protection for Thatcham. We have already completed the Cold Ash Scheme and are on track with Tull Way. This cash will now enable us to complete the major elements of the flood protection programme for Thatcham.”
He added, “The impressive effort made by the *Thatcham Flood Forum and local partner organisations to raise around £122k has been a vital element in receiving the grant. This contribution undoubtedly strengthened West Berkshire Council’s application for the government funding through the Environment Agency.”

Brian Woodham of the Thatcham Flood Forum said, “This has been a really good team effort to enable the council to provide the Environment Agency with the local contributions needed to support their project proposals. We are extremely grateful to all the organisations and individuals who raised the £122k as without these important local funds, we simply would not have the £4 million so desperately needed to complete Thatcham’s flood protection scheme by late 2018.

“The wonderful support of those donors, Thatcham Town Council, West Berkshire Council, local businesses and organisations and many personal contributions demonstrated the broad community support the EA needed to consider funding completion of the town’s major flood defences. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the generosity of Greenham Common Trust, Berkshire Community Foundation and Scottish and Southern Electric Power Distribution who together, were responsible for £80k of the total funding. This is a phenomenal contribution which provided the impetus for the application to the Environment Agency.”

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