A £10m project to protect 2,000 of Salford’s homes from flooding, alongside the creation of a 12-acre wetland nature reserve, has been completed.
The 69-acre project sits in a loop of the River Irwell and will protect properties along the river by holding up to 650 million litres of water during a flood event. It follows on from an earlier flood defence scheme completed at Littleton Road in 2005.
An inlet at the South West corner of the site will allow the controlled spill of water into the basin when the river’s level is high. Water is then stored in the basin and released by two outlet pipes once the river’s water level has dropped.
The flood defence scheme is estimated to protect more than 200 acres of development along the river, and will provide more opportunities to develop land in the river’s corridor.
Alongside the flood defences, the project also includes a wetland reserve, nearly two miles of public footpaths along the periphery, and around 25 acres of wildflower habitat.
There are also multi-use sports pitches at the southern end of the site, and dependent on weather, it is hoped the area will open to the public in the spring.
The three-year project has been delivered by a joint venture of Galliford Try and Black & Veatch. Backed by the Environment Agency, it has been funded by £9.1m from the Government and £1.2m from Salford City Council.
Derek Antrobus, lead member for planning and sustainable development at Salford City Council said: “The new flood basin realises a long-term ambition of the city council to reduce the risk for local communities.
“The council is delighted that it will also provide an excellent amenity and we have invested in the bridge from Kersal Dale so the site is integrated into the walking and cycling route along the Irwell Valley.”