Fri, 08 Apr 2016
“DESPERATELY-needed” funding to protect Thatcham from flooding has been secured.
Thousands of residents were forced out of their properties in July 2007 after more than 1,000 homes in the town were devastated by flash flooding.
A plan was put in place to defend Thatcham, comprising four attenuation ponds to stem the flow of excess water.
The first pond at Cold Ash Hill was completed in 2014 and work on a £1.2m scheme at Tull Way is under construction.
West Berkshire Council has now been allocated £4m Government funding to construct reservoirs at Dunstan Park and south-east Thatcham. The ponds will be completed in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The cash is part of a six-year capital settlement and was approved by the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and the Environment Agency board in February.
Thatcham Flood Forum set about raising £200,000 to help unlock the Government money needed for the schemes, with every £10 match- funded by Greenham Common Trust.
Newbury MP Richard Benyon had also called on the Government to fund Thatcham’s defences.
The forum’s funding committee chairman, Brian Woodham, said: “This has been a really good team effort. We are extremely grateful to all the organisations and individuals who raised the £122k as, without these important local funds, we simply would not have the £4m so desperately needed to complete Thatcham’s flood protection scheme by late 2018.”
Mr Woodham thanked the donors, which included local businesses, the Berkshire Community Foundation, Scottish and Southern Electric Power Distribution, Thatcham Town Council and West Berkshire Council.