Cumbria

Keswick flood defence work to start

Low Mill, Greta Side, Keswick
Image caption Keswick has a history of flooding, the most recent in 2009

Construction of a £6.1m flood protection scheme in Keswick is set to begin.

More than 180 homes and businesses at risk of flooding from the River Greta will benefit from the Environment Agency's scheme.

Keswick has a history of flooding, the most recent being in November 2009, which affected 140 homes in the town.

Work will begin on Monday and is expected to take up to 15 months to complete.

It will include the raising of flood walls and embankments along the River Greta through Keswick, including Crosthwaite Road, High Hill, Elliott Park, Southey Hill Industrial Estate and Penrith Road.

As part of the scheme, the wall along High Hill will be raised using a combination of Lakeland stone and glass panels which aims to protect views of the river, whilst reducing flood risk.

'Fantastic news'

The Environment Agency will also be working on homes and businesses on Greta Side to fit properties with resistance measures such as waterproofing and non-return valves.

Graham Thompson, chairman of Keswick Flood Action Group, said: "This is fantastic news for Keswick. Improved defences will be in place by Autumn 2012, giving properties at risk a much greater level of protection.

"Keswick Flood Action Group has fought hard for this since the flooding in 2005 and we are delighted that we've cleared the final hurdle and construction can start."

Mike Harper, Environment Agency project manager, said they would begin work by diverting the culvert which carries Crosthwaite Beck into the River Greta on the corner of Crosthwaite Road/Lower Fitz Park.

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