THE finishing touches have been put to a delayed £1million project to protect a hillside town from flooding.

A new two-tier trash screen has been installed to complete the repair and partial replacement of the Victoria Clough culvert in Earby.

The work by the Environment Agency will reduce the risk of flooding to 91 homes and 17 businesses in the town.

The project, which started in July 2018, was prompted by the damage caused to properties in Earby by the Boxing Day floods of 2015.

The culvert, which carries an underground watercourse, passes below Victoria Road and the A56 Skipton Road.

A new 40 metre length of culvert has been installed beneath the disused railway embankment to replace the partially-collapsed existing one.

A further 60m of the culvert, at locations under Victoria Road and the A56, was relined.

This month the new and improved two-tier trash screen was installed at its inlet to reduce the risk of debris blockages and make it easier to clear.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson welcomed the final completion of the work after a visit to the site.

The scheme was repeatedly delayed, notably by the discovery of a major obstruction in the old culvert in September 2018.

The EA is now looking at further flood protection measures later this year including a flood storage area on Victoria Clough and a flood defence wall at Boot Street adjacent to the New Cut.

Paul Swales, the EA’s flood risk advisor, said: “Earby has suffered devastating flooding over recent years, most notably the Boxing Day 2015 flood. We’re delighted that this project is now complete and will bring significant flood risk benefits to homes and businesses in Earby.”

Mr Stephenson said: “I’m delighted this £1m investment in Earby flood defence is now completed. I want to thank Paul and the entire team at the Environment Agency for a job very well done. I hope this completed project will provide much needed reassurance to people in Earby.”