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Funding floods in to port to stop tidal surge threat

FLOOD defences at Port of Immingham are to receive a £5 million investment boost, increasing future resilience.

Funding floods in to port to stop tidal surge threat

New outer lock gates will be installed to enhance protection, as the coastal frontage of the UK’s largest dock facility is raised.

The estate was extensively damaged during the 2013 surge, with widespread destruction costing millions of pounds in replacement, rebuilding, and operational time lost.

Since then, owner Associated British Ports (ABP) has been working closely with North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) and the Environment Agency on a permanent long term solution to reduce the risk, putting together a business case and application for a specific government grant.

ABP’s port manager for Grimsby and Immingham, Mark Frith, said: “We are absolutely delighted that we have been able to successfully apply for this funding towards the new lock gates. Ensuring the port’s resilience to tidal flooding will provide a real springboard for future investment, as we seek to grow our business and invest in new infrastructure in to the future.”

From the Greenergy biofuels refinery to occupational health facilities and the seaman’s mission base, the recovery from the December strike has been tough for many.

It also prompted concern about the risks posed in the future, with a major alert triggered only this month when conditions threatened a repeat.

Several ministerial visits been made, and the lock gates were given a top priority.

Mr Frith said it was noted that the volume and nature of the cargoes that transit the quays in Immingham would be difficult to transfer to other ports, partly because of the sheer scale of ABP’s infrastructure, but also because of the unrivalled logistical connectivity.

North East Lincolnshire’s project manager, Teresa James, said: “The port is a vital local employer and effectively underpins the local economy. The council is pleased to have worked so closely with ABP to achieve this brilliant result.”

The new lock gates with flood resilience capability are now under construction and are due to be installed this summer.

Since the surge Grimsby’s Royal Dock and Hull’s King George Dock lock gates have been

Environment Agency senior coastal advisor, Mark Adams, added: “The EA is committed to improving flood resilience and preparedness across the nation, and this great result at Immingham serves to demonstrate that it is not just houses that need protection but that nationally significant infrastructure and industry have the same needs as well. We are delighted with the approved funding and look forward to continuing to work with ABP in to the future.”

As part of this funded package of works, the project team will continue to work together to develop further flood reduction processes that will ensure further resilience over the next few years.

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