Shovels will go in the ground to begin major elements of a flood alleviation scheme for Brighouse, now financial sign-off for the £19 million project has been achieved.

Environment Agency senior adviser Paul Swales told flood scheme partners work should start on the main Clifton Beck works – with storage areas at Wellholme Park and Whinney Hill Park – in the first two months of 2024.

Reporting on a number of Calderdale schemes, he said: “The full business case has actually been approved and we’ve got financial sign-off now – so it’s full steam ahead,  with construction looking to start at the end of January or beginning of February next year.

“It’s great credit to the team to get this major project through that milestone of full business case approval.

“We’re now ready and raring to go for the construction element.”

The full business case demonstrates that Brighouse Flood Alleviation Scheme is an economically viable project.

He told Calderdale Flood Recovery and Resilience Programme Board that while the case was being considered trial hole work and drafting of flood risk permits had been undertaken.

Mr Swales said it would mean Whinney Hill Park will be out of use for the duration of construction work, the playground, skateboard park and cafe will still be accessible at Wellholme Park during its own building phase.

Earlier this year partners were told planning permission for the work had been granted for the two park projects.

The project team are producing information boards which will be positioned at each entrance and exits within the parks informing users about the planned works.

A scheme leaflet is also being designed which will be posted to all households with a Brighouse postcode informing them of the need for a scheme and what works are planned, with an invitation to an information day planned to be be held in January.

He also reported advance works are now complete along the River Calder in the town, meaning more than 50 businesses are now better protected from the risk of flooding.

Brighouse now has a stakeholder engagement group which is made up of project team members, Calderdale Council, local councillors and business owners, and representation from the Disability Forum and Calder and Colne Rivers Trust, said Mr Swales.

In the summer board members heard construction work at the parks is expected to last about two years.