Big award for flood scheme

The storage dam on the Mitford Estate is a key component of the Morpeth Flood Alleviation Scheme.
The storage dam on the Mitford Estate is a key component of the Morpeth Flood Alleviation Scheme.

A major engineering project that protects thousands of Morpeth residents from flooding has scooped a prestigious national accolade.

The Morpeth Flood Alleviation Scheme was named Project of the Year in this year’s Constructing Excellence Awards, run by the Constructing Excellence organisation.

The £26million scheme, which opened last year, includes upstream storage and urban flood defences and is thought to have prevented dozens of properties from flooding last winter when the dam on the Mitford Estate – which has capacity to store 1.4million cubic metres of water – operated for the first time.

It is the first time a major scheme to reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses has been jointly funded and delivered by the Environment Agency and a local council in the region.

Northumberland County Council’s cabinet member for local services, Ian Swithenbank, said: “This was a great example of agencies working together on a hugely ambitious engineering project and the real key to this scheme was the work with the community.

“The fact that the scheme has already been called into action shows its value to Morpeth residents.

“We’re delighted that it has won this prestigious award.”

Phil Welton, from the Environment Agency in the North East, added: “The judges commented that the close working relationship between the partners and with the community was key to delivering the project successfully.”