BLACKBURN with Darwen Council's growth boss has signed off three schemes designed to reduce flooding in the borough.

They total £160,500.

They come from the government's Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) allocation for the financial year 2023/24.

Cllr Quesir Mahmood said in a report approving the capital spending: "The funding from Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs for managing flood risk in England is known as ‘Flood Defence Grant in Aid’."

He has authorised £40,000 on a scheme for Fitzgerald Drive in Darwen and £15,500 for a 'quick win' project in Blackpool Street, Darwen.

Cllr Mahmood has also signed of £16,000 out of £105,000 for a borough-wide Natural Flood Management (NFM) scoping study which continue next year with the outstanding £89,000 to be spent in 2024/25.

The £40,000 project for Fitzgerald Drive, Darwen, follows four properties having issues with flooding with a further 11 properties at risk downstream.

The land is privately-owned and so the council have been working with the landowner to minimise flooding in the area.

With the support of the FDGiA funding, the council has constructed a weir to control the flow of water therefore minimising the risk of flooding.

Work has now been completed.

The 'Quick Win' grant of £15,500 affects part of Blackpool Street in Darwen which is unadopted.

It has limited drainage which has created a flooding issue to two properties.

With the support of the FDGiA funding, the council have carried out amendments to the road to improve drainage in the area.

This work should be completed by the end of this week.

The NFN Scoping study is a large-scale study culminating in December 2024, focussing on catchment areas in rural areas across the borough, to protect communities at risk of flooding.

They include:

* Blackburn town centre – through specific focus on land upstream of Brownhill Drive and Pleckgate areas;

* Ewood – through specific focus on land at Bog Heights; and

* Darwen – through specific focus on land outside of the Jack’s Key catchment, including Hoddleston and Darwen Moor.

The aim is to understand how the water behaves and what can be done to naturally reduce downstream flood risk.

This will be achieved through actions including consolidating existing data and undertaking site surveys.

Measurements put in place to minimise the risk of flooding will include peat restoration, woodland creation, leaky dams, soil improvements and hedgerow creation or improvement.