Flood protection strategy announced during Newton Stewart visit
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled a 10-year flood protection strategy designed to protect more than 10,000 homes.
The announcement was made during a visit to Newton Stewart which was badly affected by winter storms.
The plan is backed by grant funding of £420m and follows agreement between the Scottish government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla).
It will be used to deliver 40 new flood protection projects across Scotland.
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The funding will also support local flood risk management plans.
More than 130 flood protection studies will be carried out to help find potential solutions for another 26,000 residential properties currently at risk.
Ms Sturgeon said: "Earlier this year I saw first hand the devastating effects of mother nature as storms battered our communities.
"Last December is on record as the wettest and saw levels at rivers across Scotland overflow."
She said the Dumfries and Galloway town of Newton Stewart had been particularly badly hit.
Ms Sturgeon said: "When I visited Newton Stewart on New Year's Eve I met local butchers Kenny and Yolanda Owen at John D Owen & Son on what would have been their busiest day.
"Tragically all their stock was knee deep in water which not only has a massive impact on the business but also on the wider community who were relying on them.
"As I walked down the high street what struck me was the resilience of this small community as they supported each other."
She said that seven months later the community had "rallied round" and businesses were "getting back on their feet and returning to normal".
Ms Sturgeon added: "However, the implications of the storm will be felt for a while yet and we need to work together to minimise any potential future disruption.
"This agreement will give local authorities the certainty they need to deliver the actions set out in their local flood risk management plans to help protect individuals, business and communities from the danger of flooding."
Councillor Stephen Hagan, Cosla spokesman for development, economy and sustainability, said protecting communities was at the heart of local government.
He explained: "Climate change, and the associated increase in flooding events, poses a significant national risk.
"This is why investment in flood protection schemes and associated infrastructure is critical to protecting vulnerable householders, businesses and communities, and why the strong working relationship between local and Scottish government is so important."
However, some businesses in the town have criticised the time it has taken to deliver any action.
Linda McClelland, who runs a hairdressers, said she was concerned there had been no action to shore up a large breach in the river wall where the River Cree burst through.
She said: "We are seven months into the year and absolutely nothing has been done to help fix this wall in the town.
"Winter is coming fast and unfortunately we do get a lot of rain round here. So there is every chance it could flood again."
Ross Cunningham, who owns an outdoor clothing firm, was also worried about the lack of action to reduce the flood risk.
"It is 199 days since the flood in Newton Stewart and something needs to happen," he said.
"We have a business in England in the Lake District which was flooded as well about 30 days before this one.
"The difference is quite surprising - they have done a lot more a lot quicker than they have over the border."
|Flood prevention funding breakdown for 2016/17 by local authority|
|Authority||Funding in millions of pounds|
|Argyll & Bute||0.194|
|Dumfries and Galloway||1.707|
|Perth & Kinross||0.962|
Which council area is getting what?
Aberdeen City - £967,000
Aberdeenshire - £7.1m
Angus - £2.2m
Argyll & Bute - £194,000
Clackmannanshire - £85,000
Dumfries and Galloway - £1.7m
Dundee City - £5.8m
East Ayrshire - £994,000
East Dunbartonshire - £429,000
East Lothian - £746,000
East Renfrewshire- £100,000
Edinburgh - £242,000
Eilean Siar - £363,000
Falkirk - £2.9m
Fife - £370,000
Highland - £2.5m
Inverclyde - £415,000
Midlothian - £71,000
Moray - £1.5m
North Ayrshire - £1.8m
North Lanarkshire - £85,000
Orkney - £1.4m
Perth & Kinross - £962,000
Renfrewshire - £370,000
Scottish Borders -£1.6m
Shetland - £7,000
South Ayrshire - £64,000
South Lanarkshire- £299,000
West Dunbartonshire - £242,000
West Lothian - £114,000