Communities across Scotland will benefit from more than £700,000 additional funding to improve flood protection.
This includes £300,000 to support the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in its role as the national flood forecasting, flood warning and strategic flood risk management authority this year. It is also proposed to increase by a further £200,000 to £1.6 million for 2019/20.
The ‘Scottish Flood Forum’ will receive £33,000 in 2019/20 to work with stakeholders to raise awareness of the importance of making flood resilient repairs and installing flood protection measures for property.
And £180,00 has been made available to gather Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data, which surveys terrain and will provide robust data to improve assessment and management of flood risk.
Speaking ahead of her appearance at Scotland’s annual flood risk management conference in Glasgow, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:
“Flooding can cause utter devastation to communities, as we saw in 2015. It’s vital that we do everything we can to prepare for the worst, and this additional funding will improve our resilience against future flooding.
“It will allow us to increase our understanding of when and where flooding is most likely to occur, and to support those communities affected.
“The Scottish Government is spending £420 million over ten years to protect homes and businesses in our most flood-prone areas – demonstrating our commitment to tackling this age-old problem.
“Ensuring our communities, society, economy and environment are protected from the impacts of climate change is a crucial step to delivering a greener, fairer and more prosperous country.”
Welcoming the increased funding, SEPA’s Chief Executive Terry A’Hearn said:
“Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment, including helping Scotland prepare more powerfully for future increased flooding in the face of clear science on climate change.
“With SEPA’s flood forecasting and warning services being critical to Scotland’s public services, private businesses and communities, today’s funding boost will make a real difference to new science, technology, and training that underpins our aim of making Scotland more flood resilient.”
LiDAR data will be available free of charge to stakeholders via the Scottish Remote Sensing Portal. This is in line with Scotland’s Digital Strategy, where the Scottish Government is working with public sector bodies to invest in new collective data agreements.