The government has announced £120m of new funding to boost flood defences around the country

Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said the £120m of funding could protect up to 60,000 homes from flooding.

He said £60m cash would be targeted at areas where flood defences can unlock new opportunities for development and growth, with investment focuse don where it cna have the greatest economic impact.

The remaining £60 million will help speed up the delivery of up to 50 flood defence schemes already in train and prioritised by the Environment Agency.

The additional funding will be phased over 2013-14 and 2014-15 with a total of £35 million in 2013-14 and £85 million in 2014-15.

The government said five schemes had been invited to apply for the funding, with more to follow.

They are:

  • Lower Don Valley in Sheffield: an £11m scheme to protect 300 businesses, in the city’s industrial heartland which experienced severe flooding in 2007.
  • Ipswich: a£54m scheme to build a tidal barrier to protect 1600 homes and 240 commercial properties in the city centre against significant flood risk, and allowing derelict waterside land to be redeveloped.
  • Derby: a £73m scheme to help regenerate the riverside area of the city and stimulate investment into the Lower Derwent Valley as well as improving flood protection to nearly 1900 properties and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site.
  • Exeter: a £26m scheme to improve the protection of 2,850 homes and 1,150 businesses in the city centre.

A confirmed set of schemes is expected to be announced early in the New Year.