Pioneering collaboration aims to protect precious area of Suffolk with £27m project
PUBLISHED: 05:30 20 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:20 20 September 2019
The pioneering collaboration comes as part of the Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership’s (AOEP) plans to put in place a programme of work, including raising river walls, to make the estuary landscape of homes, businesses and protected wildlife resilient to a one-in-200 year tidal surge.
The meeting of some of the most senior utility directors in the UK took place at Snape Maltings, hosted by Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey.
The AOEP and the fundraising charity Alde and Ore Estuary Trust called for the meeting to ensure all stakeholders in the region with interests in areas at risk of flooding were fully aware of the proposed works and to understand opportunities for partnership working and funding bids.
Representatives from Anglian Water, Essex and Suffolk Water, EDF and UK Power Networks joined the discussion with the Environment Agency, New Anglia LEP, CEFAS and East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board, which has been commissioned to complete the upgrading of the river walls.
Chairing the meeting, AOEP’s Alison Andrews said: “We were delighted that the utility companies attended with such a positive attitude to listen, collaborate and share ideas and plans.
“We now have a plan to move forward with the team from the Coastal Partnership East to keep the momentum of collaboration going, which is the only way that we can all benefit from the resilience we need to build to avoid the disastrous floods of 1953 hitting the region again.”
Dr Coffey said: “I was delighted to bring together key figures from the Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership, and the utility companies with infrastructure in the area.
“The community and local landowners are really engaged in how best to protect this amazing area from flooding.
“I thought we had a good discussion on how to work with large companies with key infrastructure assets. I was pleased such senior executives attended and I am confident that further detailed discussions will follow.”
The Partnership asks anyone who value this very special place and want to help protect the economy and all the wonderful amenities on offer in the estuary, to please help by making a donation or giving your time to support us via the Alde and Ore Estuary Trust.
For more information about the Estuary Plan, please visit the Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership website.