Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, visited the site of the works in Rhyl today (Wednesday, August 19).
In the December of 2013, Rhyl – along with other parts of coastal Denbighshire – was hit by some of the worst flooding in 20 years, with many residents having to temporarily leave their homes due to flood damage.
Since then, work on a number of flood defences has taken place in and around the town – including to the rock armour in front of existing coastal defences at East Rhyl.
The two-year project – which involves placing 128,000 tonnes of rock armour in front of the existing defences, along with 600 metres of new sea defence wall and promenade - began onsite in April this year.
The total value of the new scheme is approximately £30million, and the works are expected to reduce the flood risk to 472 properties in the town.
The scheme is one of a number of Welsh Government-funded flood defence and flood alleviation schemes taking place in Denbighshire.
The Minister said:
“I am very pleased to be in Rhyl to see how this major coastal scheme is progressing, and to hear how it will reduce flood risk to hundreds of homes and businesses in the area.
“I’m especially pleased to hear that, thanks to the local authority and contractors, work on this key coastal project has been able to continue safely throughout the Covid-19 crisis.”
The Minister added:
“This is one of our largest Coastal Risk Management projects, and underlines our commitment to tackling the direct consequences of climate change, through reducing the risk to life from flooding.
“Thanks to this major scheme, residents and businesses will have greater peace of mind when it comes to the risk of flooding in this area.”
“We are aware of the increased flooding risks posed by climate change across Wales, and have increased our financial and practical support to Local Authorities and Natural Resources Wales to bring forward new flood schemes to reduce risk and develop a pipeline of future schemes.
“This support includes 100% grant funding for all project preparation and design work, plus our new £2m Natural Flood Management programme.”
The Minister’s visit comes ahead of the publication of the Welsh Government’s new National Strategy for flooding, which will be published in the autumn.