£500k funding boost for Sidmouth beach management plan
PUBLISHED: 17:23 22 January 2020
East Devon District Council
A project to improve Sidmouth's sea defences and safeguard businesses and properties in the town has received a funding boost.
East Devon District Council's (EDDC) Sidmouth and East Beach Management Plan (BMP) has moved a step closer to being fully-funded after it received a £500,000 grant.
The cash injection comes from South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee agreed to the grant which will help bridge a £1.5 million funding gap.
EDDC said the effective funding gap has now been reduced to around £1 million, pending contributions from other sources like utility companies, East Devon's housing service and Sidmouth Lifeboat.
Cllr Stuart Hughes, Sidmouth county and district councillor, said: "I am delighted that the members of the finance sub-group agreed with the case that I made for the additional funding and I was able to show local support for funding the scheme including the town, district and county councils and local residents of Cliff Road.
"This is a very welcome contribution to the BMP, and considerably reduces the funding gap of £1.5 million, which is required to be found locally.
"We are still working on additional funding sources to fully close the funding gap, but this grant has helped the shortfall drop to £1m."
News of the funding boost comes as a glass splash panel has been installed in The Esplanade.
The panel has been put in place to test whether it can hold up to the elements and will be in place until late spring.
A statement on behalf of the Sidmouth district councillors Stuart Hughes, Cathy Gardner, Denise Bickley and John Loudoun said they authority is 'working hard' to plug the funding gap.
They said: "We hope that the required funding can be found for this vital protection for our town.
"Climate change is increasing the risk of flooding from the sea and we need to address that risk.
"Unfortunately the government will not provide all the required funding which means the some of the funding has to be found locally."
Further information about the Sidmouth and East Beach Management Scheme can be found on the East Devon website.