LONG-AWAITED work to replace a collapsed culvert to reduce the flood risk to more than 100 properties will start next week.

The £1million-worth repairs in Earby will begin on Monday.

The replacement of the Victoria Clough culvert aims to prevent a repeat of the Boxing Day 2015 flood damage which devastated the town.

It aims to protect 91 homes and 17 businesses.

News of the work starting has been welcomed by Pendle Conservative MP Andrew Stephenson and Cllr Tony Greaves, leader of the borough council Liberal Democrat group.

A new culvert will be installed beneath a disused railway embankment to replace the existing collapsed one.

The team will also re-line or replace sections along the culvert under Victoria Road and the A56 Skipton Road.

Both highways will suffer disruption during the expected 13-week duration of the work.

There will also be road closures on Valley Road and New Road and parking restrictions on Victoria Road.

An improved trash screen will be fixed at the inlet of the culvert, to reduce the risk blockage with debris and making it easier to clear when water levels are high.

In April 2017 Craven Liberal Democrat David Whipp demanded the speeding up of the scheme and in June this year Earby was hit again by flash flooding.

The Environment Agency is exploring other measures to reduce flood risk from all sources in and around Earby.

Over the next year, a specialist team will investigate the options which including flood storage areas on Earby Beck, the New Cut and Victoria Clough and installing a flood defence wall at Boot Street.

Mr Stephenson said: “Along with ward councillors I’ve been pressing the Environment Agency to get on with this work.”

Cllr Greaves said: “This seems like very good news.

“My Craven ward colleague Cllr Whipp has been calling for this work to be speeded up for many months and I am very pleased this long-awaited and much-needed scheme will finally be started.”

Paul Swales, flood risk adviser, at the Environment Agency said: “Earby has suffered devastating flooding over recent years, most notably the Boxing Day 2015 flood. We’re pleased to be starting this repair work.”