A £27.1m scheme to reduce flood risk to 4,800 properties in Blackpool has been opened following completion by contractor Balfour Beatty.
The Anchorsholme sea defence is part of the Fylde Peninsula Coastal Programme and safeguards Blackpool’s seafront tramway, which along with roads in the area is regularly subjected to flooding. Work started on Anchorsholme along with the nearby Rossall flood defence, which will protect more than 10,000 properties, in 2014.
The wall will also help protect vital infrastructure and a pumping station. A kilometre of concrete sea wall has been replaced, maintaining access to the beach, with a new promenade introduced. The promenade also links the seafront to the nearby Anchorsholme Park, which is being redeveloped.
The Fylde Peninsula Coastal Programme is a partnership between Wyre, Blackpool and Fylde councils and the Environment Agency to reduce flood risk to people and develop historic and natural environments.
Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for environmental services, Cllr Fred Jackson said: “We now have a sea wall that will provide much stronger flood protection for years to come. We also have a wonderful new promenade for all to enjoy which makes access from the seafront to the park and town so much easier.
“The project has been both an incredible challenge and an incredible achievement for all the organisations involved.”
Chairman of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd, added: “Blackpool’s iconic beachfront is visited by thousands of families each year. This coastal defence will better protect the town’s popular tourist attractions as well as nearly 5,000 homes and businesses. It’s great news and demonstrates how our work benefits people and the environment.”
Dean Banks, Balfour Beatty managing director for UK construction services, said: “We look forward to developing our relationship with Blackpool Council across its portfolio and to supporting the Environment Agency in the delivery of ongoing flood prevention throughout the North West.”