HOMES, businesses and communities at risk of flooding will benefit from £22 million worth of protection against extreme weather events.

The cash was announced by West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin and Calderdale Council Leader Jane Scullion today (Monday, December 18), following a visit by the Mayor to Brighouse.

The town was ravaged by the Boxing Day floods of 2015, when the River Calder burst its banks.

Other local towns including Mirfield, Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge, as well as large parts of Leeds and the wider region, were also badly hit.

In total, around 6,000 homes and businesses were damaged by the floods, costing West Yorkshire an estimated half-a-billion pounds.

Further serious flooding has occurred in Calderdale, including Storm Ciara in February 2020, with a number of ‘near miss’ events since that time.

In a bid to make the region resilient to future flooding, Mayor Brabin and Cllr Scullion have earmarked over £20 million to put up flood defences, slow the flow of water, and support at-risk businesses.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “As climate change worsens, and one in 100-year floods become more common, it’s vital we step up our support for businesses and communities and ensure our region is fit for the future.

“We want West Yorkshire to be more resilient to flooding so we can avoid the terrible devastation of the 2015 Boxing Day Floods.”

Cllr Jane Scullion, Leader of Calderdale Council and Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Climate, Energy and Environment Committee, said: “Although we’ve made incredible progress in our flood resilience work since the Boxing Day 2015 floods, people living or working in parts of Calderdale still live with the ongoing threat of serious flooding.

“The threat can never be completely removed, but we welcome this significant funding which will make a huge difference to communities across the region.”

The £22 million funding will be split across three priorities:

• A £7 million natural flood scheme to slow the flow of water by working with natural systems that boost wildlife.

• A £5 million scheme to help businesses implement new sustainability plans that guard against rising temperatures and water levels.

• A £10 million infrastructure scheme to build physical protections, as part of a wider programme which aims to better protect over 2,200 businesses, 2,500 homes, and vital infrastructure such as rail and road.

The projects funded by the West Yorkshire Mayor will be delivered by partners including the National Trust and the Environment Agency and coordinated by the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.