The Environment Agency is due to start work on the next phase of a £13m flood alleviation scheme. The scheme will help protect the town from flooding, and working with the Enterprise Partnership and others, unlock much needed land for development.
A consultation by Craven District Council revealed that the current lack of employment land is constraining the growth aspirations of local businesses and the land, on the South Skipton Employment site, will mean the town can meet its employment needs.
Balanced against the importance of maintaining the high quality environment, the project will help the wider development of the site including new housing and highway improvements.
It is estimated that the 24.5 hectares of land can accommodate around 200 houses, and includes 18.6 hectares of land for employment purposes. The employment land, which will require around £24.2 million of private investment to develop, will enable the creation of 24,898 sq metres of commercial office space and up to 1,155 jobs. It includes 8.05 hectares of floodplain that will be made available once the defences are in place.
Funding for the scheme includes £1.2m from the Government’s Local Growth Deal and part of our 2014 bid to achieve growth for our region.
David Dickson, Board member and Chair of our Infrastructure Board said: "Delivery of the Skipton Flood Alleviation Scheme not only protects the town's existing businesses and infrastructure from flooding, it also provides stability for its future growth. Responding to aspirations from the town's businesses, the scheme unlocks land that will create more employment prospects in this highly important area.”
The flood defences are to protect homes near Ginnel Mews in Skipton and also involve the building of two flood storage reservoirs and flood defences in three other locations within the town centre. In total it is estimated the scheme will help protect over 500 of the town’s existing businesses and residential properties.
The scheme will protect Skipton’s transport infrastructure including the main highway and rail links including the Leeds to Carlisle railway line - a major emergency diversionary route to the north if the East Coast Main Line is closed.
It is hoped that, weather permitting, the entire scheme will be completed by early 2017.