West Yorkshire flood-risk communities gain £187k to become more resilient

More homes at risk of flooding throughout West Yorkshire will become more resilient thanks to a successful Local Levy bid for £187,000.

Partners from five local authorities and the Environment Agency joined forces as part of the West Yorkshire Flood Innovation Programme (WY FLIP) to secure the funds for their project focused on Property Flood Resilience from Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solutions Programme (iCASP) provides scientific lead for the Programme, ensuring the latest research is embedded into new techniques employed across the region and provide an evaluation framework.

The School of Geography’s  Dr Stephanie Bond, Impact Translation Fellow, is currently co-ordinator and Professor Joe Holden, director of iCASP and water@leeds, is board member for WY FLIP which is a collaborative, innovative programme which works at catchment level and across administrative boundaries to reduce the impact of flooding and climate change in the region.

Professor Joseph Holden, Director of iCASP, said: “Our role within WY FLIP is to make sure that the latest scientific evidence is used to test new techniques and to develop innovative solutions that work. “We support the design of novel world-leading approaches to improving flood resilience suitable for different types of locations, risks, catchments and communities.”

We support the design of novel world-leading approaches to improving flood resilience suitable for different types of locations, risks, catchments and communities.

Professor Joseph Holden, Director of iCASP and Water@Leeds

“It is fantastic to receive this new funding as it will provide us with an opportunity to build on our previous property flood resilience project and share learning about effective measures beyond Yorkshire, not only with other local authorities but with insurers, lenders, surveyors, and brokers to help them assess the resilience of businesses more effectively.”

This extra funding will allow a total of 250 property level resilience surveys – 50 surveys per local authority area - to be carried out across the region with communities to identify what more can be done to help both residential and business properties become more resilient to flooding. The findings of the surveys will be entered into the Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Assured database.

New mapping tool improves reslience

The project builds on work already carried out as part of an 18-month Yorkshire Property Flood Resilience DEFRA pathfinder project, led by Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solutions Programme iCASP with  recommendations from both the Ox Cam and South West pathfinders.

This resulted in a PFR Assurance Mapping Tool being launched to benefit lead flood authorities in our region and further afield in their drive to protect properties from flooding.  The Mapping Tool highlights what property level interventions could still be put into place for properties at flood risk.

Civilians in lifeboat due to flooding

One aim of the bid has been to highlight how PFR can be used as a proactive way of improving resilience at the household level when traditionally it has been seen as a reactive response following flood events. The improved tool would improve our understanding and uptake of PFR in West Yorkshire, provide evidence about what households and businesses need to be resilient, and influence how we develop these measures in the future.

Action on property flooding

Bradford Council put together the successful bid as their role within WY FLIP is to lead one of the programme’s five themes –  Property Flood Resilience. Property Flood Resilience measures include adaptations to individual homes and businesses to help communities more resilient to the impacts of a flood event where more traditional flood alleviation schemes are not technically or economically viable.

The project will help protect communities – some of them isolated - within high risk flood areas (four percent chance of flooding in any given year), where flood risk can come from a number of sources including rivers, flash flooding from heavy rain and surface water and ground water.

Councillor Jane Scullion, Deputy Leader of Calderdale Council and WY FLIP ambassador, said: “This project will provide us with a platform to monitor the effectiveness of PFR in a consistent way. It is a great example of how our collaborative ways of working through WY FLIP have paid off. By pooling resources we can achieve more, share common experiences, come up with new solutions, save time and resources and reduce flood risk to more people.”

Project video

You can watch this short animation for more information about WY FLIP