We are working with Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and the Environment Agency to develop a flood defence scheme for the Lower Don Valley (LDV).
The LDV is a critical economic area for Sheffield, second only to the city centre, but was devastated during the floods in 2007.
The scheme will involve improved defences at over 50 works locations along an 8km stretch of the River Don between the Wicker and the Blackburn Brook at the M1.
The aim is to protect over 250 businesses and thousands of jobs, as well as ensuring that the LDV remains an attractive place for new investment and a great place to do business.
In particular, improved flood protection should help businesses in the area secure flood risk insurance, and potentially at more competitive rates.
Budget and funding
The project budget of £19.044m is now fully secured. Over 90% of costs would be financed by public funds, with a contribution of £1.4 million from the private sector raised through the mechanism of a Business Improvement District (BID).
Business Improvement District (BID)
In December 2013, affected businesses voted in a ballot with a majority in favour of the BID proposal, with a turnout of 35% and a majority of 82% on the count of votes received, and a majority of 95% on the count of rateable value of those parties that voted.
The BID term is a period of 5 years between 1st July 2014 and 30th June 2019.
Invoices for the first year’s BID levy instalment were issued to businesses in the middle of June 2014 for payment by the middle of July.
These can be paid by any of the following options, whilst further details are available on the back of the bills (download ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for more information):
- Post Office
- Pay Point
The support of the business community is key to the success of this project.
BIDs are common in other towns and cities in England, however this is the first ever organised in Sheffield, and the first nationally for a capital build project.
With the benefit of the confirmed ballot vote in favour of the BID, we secured £12.144m from the Environment Agency for the LDV Flood Defence Project in January 2014 to complete the £19m funding package for the project.
Since then, we have been working with our appointed contractor, Carillion, and Environment Agency advisors to develop detailed designs for the various interventions.
5 Planning applications were approved in October 2014, and a 6th was submitted in November 2014.
Appointed environmental consultants, Ecus, have been providing advice to ensure the flood defence works minimise environmental impacts.
Environmental assessments have been completed and determined that the proposed developments are unlikely to have significant effects on the environment.
As a result, we do not intend to write an Environmental Statement in respect of the proposed works.
We have consulted with the BID Steering Group to define a scope of works to be fulfilled through the channel management regime which is a key element of the project.
The River Stewardship Company were appointed in July 2014 to carry out an initial pilot scope of works for an 18 month period.