News - Construction News

£450k scheme to better protect a Mytholmroyd school from flooding

A Mytholmroyd school hit by several devastating floods in Calderdale is more resilient to the impact of climate change following a £450,000 project.

Burnley Road Academy has served the village of Mytholmroyd and the local community since 1879. It is a community primary school catering for children in the 3-11 age range with approximately 200 pupils.

The school was severely damaged following the devastating floods of Boxing Day 2015 and February 2020 when 2,781 homes and 1,008 businesses were affected throughout Calderdale.

Following the completion of the £41m Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation scheme in 2021 – which better protects 400 homes and businesses and the school – £450,000 has now been invested in the new property flood resilience measures as part of working with partners to make the school more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Funding was secured from the Department for Education (DfE) to support a project which saw the Environment Agency working in partnership with both the DfE and Calderdale Council to install puddle pumps, sump pumps, air brick covers, flood barriers, flood gates, a flood door, non-return valves and re-pointing and rendering the walls. Design and construction was completed by PFR Framework providers to the Environment Agency, Watertight International.

Earlier this year, the Environment Agency and partners Flood Re, the joint initiative between the Government and the insurance industry, launched the Be Flood Smart campaign to encourage householders to adapt their homes with PFR to protect themselves better against the impacts of future floods. Research shows PFR measures limit the cost of repair work for properties after a major flood by as much as 73%.

Paul Swales, Senior Flood Risk Advisor, said: “We have been working to reduce the risk of flooding in this community since 2016 and to see the completed works at the school is a proud moment for myself and the Environment Agency. The brilliant partnership working has been fundamental to the success of the project and to have the school even better protected from future flood risk is fantastic.

“With the increasing impact of climate change, it is impossible to completely stop the risk of flooding, particularly in the Calder Valley due to the geography of the area. While the scheme won’t prevent the frequency of floods or their severity, it will give the school a better standard of protection and give valuable time to prepare for the risk of flooding.”

Cllr Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Active Travel and Housing, said: “This is another major step forward in our joint action against climate change across Calderdale. It comes as we mark seven years of the Calderdale Flood Action Plan, with incredible progress for flood resilience since the plan launched after the Boxing Day 2015 floods.

“Sadly, climate change means we live with an increased threat of flooding throughout the borough. As a Mytholmroyd resident whose children attended Burnley Road Academy, I have seen first-hand how devastating the impact can be.

“The amazing partnership work to boost flood resilience at the school is part of the Council’s priority to tackle the climate emergency, and we continue to do all we can to protect local people, businesses and the environment.”

Clare Cope, Headteacher of Burnley Road Academy, said: “We are delighted that the flood resilience measures have been installed and are very grateful to the DfE, the Environment Agency and Watertight for everything they have done to make this happen.

“The extreme impact of the floods in 2015 and 2020 devastated not only the buildings but the whole school community. We now feel much safer knowing that we are better protected from future flood risk.”

The project team has worked closely with the school in terms of the design and timings of the works, most of which were undertaken during school holidays to minimise disruption to pupils and staff.

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