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Higher lock gates in £7m scheme for Immingham docks will boost flood defences

Councillors have approved a scheme to manage new flood defences for Immingham to protect jobs and the nation's energy sources.

Higher lock gates in £7m scheme for Immingham docks will boost flood defences

Members of North East Lincolnshire Council cabinet welcomed a grant of £4.4million from the Environment Agency and £2million from Associated British Ports to create new lock gates and barriers to prevent a repeat of the 2013 tidal surge which deluged the docks and crippled the supply of coal to power stations.

In a report to members it was estimated the cost of the damage at Immingham and the loss of business was £115 million.

At the time it was estimated the surge had caused around £40 million.

But cabinet members were told flood defences at Immingham will make a significant contribution to the council's strategic objective of a 'Stronger Economy' by significantly reducing the risk of flooding to the port estate.

The port of Immingham - the largest in the UK by tonnage – makes a vital contribution to the UK economy, supplying coal, biomass and oil to support over 25 per cent of the UK's energy requirements. The port also plays a key role in supporting export/import activity and in sustaining a wide range of supply chain businesses and employment across the logistics, energy and engineering sectors.

The work is expected to take over two years to complete but engineers hope to have new lock gates operating by 2019.

The gates will be the first phase of the project followed by barriers.

Councillor Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for regeneration said: “Let's get on and get the job done."

He said it would protect jobs and increase investment in the port.

In a report councillors were told the programme will also make a significant contribution to the council's 'Stronger Community' objective by reducing flood risk to some residential properties in the east of Immingham; reducing the risk of a major environmental incident caused by pollutants entering the River Humber in the event of further flooding; and improving the environmental quality of the Humber through improved screening of wetland areas from port operations.

Members were told the Environment Agency has approved a grant of up to £4.495million for the project. ABP has confirmed funding of £2million for Phase 1 and, although Phase 2 designs are yet to be finalised, will meet any shortfall in funding for phase 2. A bid for European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) support for phase 2 is also being pursued through the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership.

The report added there would also be installation of new outer lock gates to provide a higher crest level, 6.56metres above ordnance datum and a reverse head restraint system, as well as repairing and raising the height of existing flood defence assets along the port frontage and replacing with new flood defence walls where required to provide a flood defence level of 6.1metres across the frontage.

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