Shadow environment secretary Jim McMahon joined Rotherham councillors at the launch. Credit: Rotherham Council

Rotherham’s £7m flood protection scheme completes

Work at Ickles Lock has been finished, forming part of the council’s bid to reduce the impact of heavy rains, after the town suffered badly in 2007 and 2019.

The Rotherham Renaissance Flood Alleviation Scheme will reduce the risk of flooding from the River Don and its tributaries along a 5km-long stretch of the river, as it weaves through Templeborough, Rotherham town centre and Parkgate.

Jackson Civil Engineering led on the works.

Project manager Darren Blank said: “’The project has been a massive challenge in both pre-construction and delivery.  We have been working on the scheme for over three years so this really is the culmination of huge stakeholder engagement and collaboration and excellence from the site team and our supply chain. The final product is testament to all of this and I am proud to have been a part of it.’’

A 125m-long concrete wall built between the railway and canal from Ickles Lock to Centenary Way will now better protect businesses and the railway from floods. Rotherham Council and its partners have invested £7m to complete this latest phase of works.

The project received £4.37m from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and Rotherham’s own town centre investment fund also backed the project.

Cllr Dominic Beck, Rotherham’s cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “We’re dedicated to delivering flood alleviation projects and work with communities and businesses to develop flood resilience measures in the worst-affected areas. This flood wall will protect another part of our town from flooding and the awful impact it can have on peoples’ homes and businesses.

“This is just the latest step in a Council Flood Alleviation scheme that is making great strides to protect our town, as we’ll be carrying out further works at six more locations as part of the scheme. We’re also working hard as a Council to reduce the carbon emissions that are widely seen as a cause of global warming and some heavy rains.”

Previous flood defence programmes included Forge Island, completed in 2020, where Muse is now progressing a leisure-led regeneration project.

Around 400 businesses, railways, tram networks and main roads will be better protected by RRFAS when it’s complete, said the council. These include the A630, A633, A6123, Rotherham Central station and Parkgate station.

Artists Anthony Donnelly of Urban Canvas and Phil Padfield of AFFIX Art painted the flood wall and switchback cycle ramp next to Ickles Lock.

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