FLOOD schemes to protect hundreds of businesses in East Lancashire from flooding have received millions in a major funding boost.

A £2 million boost to the Padiham Flood Risk Management Scheme, which promises to protect dozens of homes and local business upon completion, has been welcomed by councils and local MPs who claim it will bring thousands of jobs to the town.

Antony Higginbotham, MP for Burnley, said: “This is something I have lobbied the Government on extensively since I was elected in December and securing the extra funding is great news for Padiham and Burnley which will benefit enormously from improved flood defences once the scheme is completed.

“It will protect over 300 businesses, 2,000 jobs in those business and over £30 million of economic benefits as a result.

“As we come through the coronavirus pandemic, we need to accelerate our investment in infrastructure to level-up, as I committed to doing, and so I very much welcome the Government’s commitment to this.”

The scheme will see walls and embankments along the River Calder and Green Brook and construction work could start later this year.

Padiham was badly flooded on Boxing Day in 2015, twice in 2019 with dozens of homes and businesses damaged and again at the beginning of this year with Storm Ciara.

Councillor Charlie Briggs, leader of Burnley Council, said: “This is good news and we will continue to work with the Environment Agency to ensure the scheme is delivered for the benefit of residents and businesses of Padiham.”

Last year, the Environment Agency warned that more extreme weather caused by climate change means millions more people will be affected by flooding by 2100 and it plans to add thousands to its flood alert scheme to give families prior warning of major floods.

In Earby, locals are set to benefit from over £1.3m of funding as part of improvements to the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

The town suffered in the 2015 Boxing Day floods and was also hit at the beginning of this year after the New Cut and Earby Beck stretches of river overflowed and damaged properties.

The funding is part of a £170 million is being provided to 22 shovel-ready flood defence projects, the Government has announced.

In the rest of the county, Caton Road in Lancaster is set to receive £1.4million for its flood

defences on the banks of the

River Lune.