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Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Anne Murphy, at the new plaque at Nursery Street riverside park, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 2007 flood
Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Anne Murphy, at the new plaque at Nursery Street riverside park, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 2007 flood

Ceremony held to commemorate devastating floods of 2007

23 June 2017

A ceremony was held today to mark the 10th anniversary of the tragic floods of 2007, which brought devastation to Sheffield’s communities.

At an event at Nursery Street riverside park, a plaque was unveiled this morning to ensure that the events of June 25 2007 are never forgotten.

Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “The 2007 floods caused such devastation to our city and, tragically, the loss of two lives.

“We wanted to come together here, today, to unveil this plaque, which marks the 10th anniversary of those events, and provides a permanent tribute in remembrance of that dreadful day. It also underlines the strength and resilience shown by Sheffield’s communities immediately following the flood.

“We are doing all that we can to reduce the risk of flooding on such a huge scale in this city, and to ensure that we protect our residents, homes and businesses from any future devastation.”

Nursery Street riverside park forms part of new flood defences on the River Don, where a flood protection project is nearing its close.

The Lower Don Valley (LDV) flood protection scheme started in design in 2014 and construction is due to be completed later this year. This area was one of the worst-hit by the 2007 floods in Sheffield.

James Mead, Environment Agency senior flood risk advisor, said: “With 10 years since the devastating floods of 2007 we continue to work in partnership with Sheffield City Council and invest in the city, not just in improving flood defences but in better maintenance, improving our flood warning service and promoting flood awareness

“As the Lower Don Valley flood alleviation scheme comes to fruition we are looking forward to working with our partners to further reduce the risk of flooding across the city.”

The capital element of the LDV project, delivered by Carillion, involves the construction and installation of more than 60 new flood protection measures along an 8km stretch of the River Don between the Wicker and the M1 at Meadowhall.

As well as providing improved physical flood defences such as new walls, bunds and flood gates; the project is delivering a river channel maintenance programme to keep the river – particularly at “pinch points” such as bridges and culverts – clear of debris, which can build up and exacerbate flooding, as occurred in 2007.

Delivered by the River Stewardship Company, a local social enterprise, this element of the programme has incorporated weekly volunteer days and specialist environmental management work, to deliver flood risk and ecological benefits.

More than 90 per cent of the cost of the £19m LDV scheme is financed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency (EA), with a contribution of £1.4m from the private sector raised through the mechanism of a Business Improvement District (BID).

Richard Wright, Executive Director of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “Sheffield has shown itself to be a forward-thinking and innovative city in its utilisation of a BID within a capital project.

“Businesses in the Lower Don Valley voted in favour of the BID and are contributing £1.4m over a five-year period.

“Without the support of businesses via the BID, government funding would not have been made available to build these new flood defences which are vital to the success, retention and growth of industry in the LDV.”

Sheffield’s overall flood protection programme involves six separate flood alleviation schemes, which are at various stages of planning and implementation, which together aim to protect homes and businesses in different parts of the city.

These are this project in the Lower Don Valley; a flood alleviation scheme for the River Sheaf and Porter Brook; another flood alleviation scheme in the Upper Don; a culvert renewal programme; an environmental scheme to manage flooding and surface water from planned developments on the Manor and Arbourthorne estates; and a flood alleviation scheme on the upper Blackburn Brook, to benefit homes and businesses in Chapeltown and Ecclesfield.

Construction in these schemes is subject to funding approvals.