Blackpool’s coastal defence hit with delays

Michael Hunt

Blackpool's coastal defence scheme, aimed at protecting 15,000 homes and businesses from flooding, will be completed in the early part of next year, months after it was originally due to be finished.

The project was anticipated to be completed in October this year, prior to some of the worst recorded flooding in the North West in many years.

Central Seafront is a £73m coastal protection scheme funded by Government, the North West Development Agency and the European Regional Development Fund. The project is being led by ReBlackpool, the urban regeneration company.

A spokesman for ReBlackpool said: "The basic sort of outline as to where we are up to with the scheme is that it's all but complete now. It's almost all the way there, but there are still a few more bits and pieces to finish off on Manchester Square, which is one of the headlands. Now the reason that is still on-going is because there has actually been some additional investment which has been put forward by United Utilities and that is going to be pumped into Manchester Square and as a result that work is going to finalised probably the early part of next year.

"So that is where we're up to. Pretty much complete but with the exception of a little bit of work which still needs to be done at Manchester Square which has come about as a result of additional investment."

The new parades to the north and south of St Chad's headland opened up to the public in July last year.

The scheme is Blackpool's biggest-ever civil engineering project and is being delivered by contractor Birse Coastal. It will see the rebuilding of the 3.2km of promenade and 100-year-old sea wall between the Sandcastle and North Pier.

At present, the Environment Agency has had no reports of Blackpool being hit by flooding as a result of the delays when contact by Place.

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