A NEW project to help communities in Weymouth tackle flooding has been given £141,000 in funding.

Dorset Coast Forum, who are working in partnership with Dorset Council, Weymouth Town Council and the Environment Agency, will use the financial funding from the European Regional Development Fund via the Interreg France (Channel) England programme to support people and communities in Weymouth likely to be affected by flooding, particularly vulnerable groups. This will include awareness raising using novel approaches such as a public information totem, which will provide up to date details on the local environment.

The two-year Building Resilience in Flood Disadvantaged Communities (BRIC) programme is designed to build networks between individuals, community and non-profit organisations and public authorities in the UK and France, to find better ways to tackle flooding and test flood risk management.

New volunteer community networks will develop Flood Champions trained in safety measures and incident reporting. An interactive web platform will also provide local data and information alongside guidance, good practice and education materials to support town-wide flood risk management.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, at Dorset Council said “Flooding can have a devastating impact on our communities and we are pleased to secure this funding to help us build networks with residents and community groups. By working together we can better tackle the Climate and Ecological Emergency and its effects in the long-term.”

Carolyn Reid, Programme Manager, Interreg France (Channel) England, said: “The damage caused by flooding has a huge cost and social impact on communities in the Channel area.

“Through funding this project, we seek to support new approaches to flood management which will help communities adapt to climate change and build local resilience. Importantly, solutions will be developed in consultation with local citizens, including with the most vulnerable groups, and with a focus on future proofing.”

The grant from the Interreg France (Channel) England programme makes up 69 per cent of the total value of the project.

The €3.4m programme, which includes €2.36m from the European Regional Development Fund, will also see pilot schemes tested across the South of the UK - in Plymouth, Essex and Kent and in the northern regions of France – in Oise, Eure, Val d’Authie and Finistere. The aim of the programme is to create a guide and new tools and resources that can be used more widely in areas affected by flooding across the UK and France.