WEYMOUTH is officially set to get a cash boost to kick-start the town’s regeneration following a long wait.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council will receive £4m from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to improve flood defences at Weymouth Harbour which includes £1.2m from the £40m Floods Regeneration and Growth Fund and £2.8m for a Flood Defence Grant.

The funds will allow thousands of properties to be better protected against flooding and help support economic growth and regeneration in areas that have suffered from flooding in recent years.

In Weymouth, the funds released by Environment Minister Therese Coffey will be allocated to flood risk management measures for the town which include improving the harbour wall, reducing flood risk to 450 properties and helping to kick-start the regeneration of Weymouth town centre.

Currently, there is approximately 6.9km of coastal and fluvial flood defences that require upgrading to meet the challenge of climate change and sea level rise, including 2.5km of harbour walls.

Environment Agency bosses also stressed that the town is now particularly vulnerable to sea level rise with the number of properties currently at risk (450) expected to increase to 2,150 by 2115.

Ron Curtis, Flood Risk Manager of the Environment Agency, added: “Weymouth has a long history of flooding and the investment will allow urgent repairs to the harbour wall.

“The funding announced today will benefit all those who live work and visit Weymouth and marks the start of a longer-term programme of work to reduce flood risk in the town.”

Mr Drax and Cllr Cant have also long campaigned for funding for several years stressing that the town was getting left behind for coastal improvement.

South Dorset MP Richard Drax met Treasury Secretary Robert Jenrick earlier this year to the funding and joined Cllr Cant in September for a meeting with Therese Coffey in September.

Cllr Jeff Cant, leader of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “This is great news for Weymouth & Portland. I am delighted that Government has responded so positively to our case.

“It is an important step forward in safeguarding Weymouth’s future and boosting the local economy and it is great to see that this direct involvement with Government is paying dividends.”

South Dorset MP Richard Drax, added: “It is a huge boost for what has been a massive team effort.

“This is just the beginning but it allows us to put many plans into place, Weymouth’s future depends upon regeneration, creating new employment, homes and businesses.”

“Everything we do now will improve this beautiful old town; even the new flood defence walls will have walkways behind them, enhancing their value to local people.”

The news follows after both politicians held a separate meeting held with Jake Berry, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth last week to discuss funding for a separate £18m bid from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government Coastal Communities fund to improve the towns wider regeneration.

The bid is currently being considered by the government.