Bridge Street Close, Cockermouth (Community Resilience)
Many areas in Cockermouth were flooded after Storm Desmond wreaked havoc in parts of the UK on the 5th and 6th December 2015. Newground on behalf of the Environment Agency worked with residents of Bridge Street and Bridge Street Close to explore options for a community flood scheme to better protect their properties. This was made possible through the flood resilience grant from Allerdale Council and the flood grant from Cumbria Community Foundation. Although Bridge Street and Bridge Street Close are very close to the River Cocker, it was surface water coming from the Main Street that caused flooding. Most properties flooded to a depth of 18 inches.
The community flood scheme brought about a number of challenges that all needed to be addressed in order to secure funding. Some of the challenges included:
- Gaining agreement from all the residents for the scheme.
- Ensuring all residents has applied to Allerdale Borough Council for property level protection.
- Ensuring the flood protecting equipment was suitable, temporary and easy to deploy.
- Formation of the residents association and gaining affordable public liability insurance for Bridge Street/ Close Residents Association (BSCRA).
Newground Approach and Solution
Newground has been supporting the residents and working through various options to enable the flood protection scheme to move forward. Newground was instrumental in liasing with the Environment Agency and Local Authority and provided support for the joint funding application to Cumbria Community Foundation. In addition, Newground met the supplier of the temporary roll out barriers along with the residents to ensure this type of equipment was suitable for Bridge Street / Close.
Newground has ensured all residents are signed up to the Environment Agency flood warnings service and are working through the formulation of a community flood plan, drawing on various expertise within the group. Newground assisted with Bridge Street Road/ Close Residents Association when they carried out training days so that the group was aware of how to deploy the equipment.
How we made a difference
All properties have now utilised their £5000 per property flood resilience grants and installed property level flood protection including flood barriers, automatic airbricks, non return valves on pipework and Sump pumps.
The community flood scheme successfully applied for just over £17,000 and was funded through Cumbria Community Foundation and included:
- 2 x roll out flood barriers
- 2 x diesel pumps
- 4 flood barriers for garden gates
The residents from the 14 properties in BSCRA now feel that they are better protected and have a much better understanding of flooding in the Cockermouth area. As a constituted group they feel they will be able to communicate better with external agencies and will be able to work together to reduce the impact of flooding on their properties.
BSCRA now have a fully developed community flood plan which was tested in November 2017 and continues to be developed and tested by the community to ensure it is kept up to date.