Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme gets underway
Sod cutting ceremony for £31.4 million project.
The start of the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme was marked today (Tuesday 24 June) with a sod-cutting ceremony.
Scotland’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse opened the £31.4 million project, which received Scottish Government funding in March, alongside Scottish Borders Council (SBC) Leader David Parker.
The new scheme will remove 595 properties in the Bannerfield, Philiphaugh and Riverside areas of the town from the national flood risk register. It will do so by protecting against the effects of flooding from the Ettrick and Yarrow waters and the Long Philip and Shaw burns.
The advanced works contract was awarded in April to SBC Contracts and will see temporary access roads created, vegetation and tree clearance and public utility diversion works carried out in the coming months.
Speaking as he visited the project after the Scottish Government Cabinet’s meeting in Selkirk, Mr Wheelhouse said:
“I am delighted to be here today to mark the commencement of this £31.4 million co-funded project, 80 per cent of which is funded by the Scottish Government, which will provide much needed flood protection here in Selkirk.
“Communities such as Bannerfield living under the threat of flooding know only too well the devastating effects it can have and that is why flooding remains a priority for this Government. In particular this project, aside from protecting houses, will also protect the very important Ettrick riverside area which is home to many of Selkirk's established and new start businesses.
“By continuing to invest in measures to mitigate the impact of flooding and reduce the risk of it happening in the first place, we are providing invaluable support to some of the most vulnerable communities in Selkirk, and indeed in other similarly affected areas across the country.
“I look forward to seeing the positive impact of these works for residents and businesses in the community in the months and years to come.”
Conor Price, Project Manager of the Scheme, said:
“We have to thank the Scottish Government for its support of this vital project which will protect hundreds of homes and businesses.
“The advanced works process aims to minimise the impact on the people of Selkirk and businesses during the main construction works.
“The level of works will increase this summer and we will engage with the community, particularly on the closure of roads, as well as Bannerfield Footbridge which will need to be shut on a number of occasions.”
The tender for the main construction works contract was issued earlier this month, with the works due to begin on 1 December. The project is expected to be completed by December 2016.
SBC Leader David Parker added:
“This is a significant moment for Selkirk.
“No-one from the town will forget the flooding which devastated Bannerfield in 2003, and significant effort has been put into the Flood Protection Scheme to ensure Selkirk is protected from an event of this kind again.
“With the backing of the Scottish Government, the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme will encourage business growth and employment within the Royal Burgh by safeguarding almost 600 properties.”
Further information on the project is available from www.selkirkfloodscheme.com.
Photos from today’s sod-cutting ceremony are available on SBC’s Flickr page.
Scottish Borders Councillors approved stages seven (construction procurement) and eight (construction works) at a full SBC meeting on Thursday 27 February. The report presented to Councillors is available here.
In August 2012, the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme became the first major flood protection scheme with an environmental statement to be approved under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009.