Thatcham Flood Forum Thanks Greenham Common Trust for Initial Essential Funding

Flood attenuation pond, Cold Ash Hill. Photo courtesy of Thatcham Flood Forum One group of townspeople is celebrating now that it is a step closer towards eradicating the threat of flooding, thanks in part to an initial donation from Greenham Trust.

The original matched funding grant of £50,000 from the Trust helped underline the forum’s commitment to reducing the risk of flooding to the town. This then paved the way for securing additional grants and support.

The large sum means they have been able to attract other money to help pay for the engineering works in key areas of Thatcham.

Recognising this commitment, the EA has also stepped in to provide £4m and this forms part of the agency’s six year flood defence works which go right across the Thames region.

Now, West Berks will be able to complete all the flood defence reservoirs which were originally proposed as part of Thatcham’s Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP).

The remaining reservoirs at Dunstan Park and south east Thatcham will be finished during 2017 and 2018.

Brian Woodham, Chairman of the SWMP Funding Committee, said GCT’s support was crucial in attracting funding from the EA.

He said: “Without the £50,000 grant from Greenham Trust, and the contributions of Berkshire Community Foundation and Scottish and Southern Electric Power Distribution, which totalled £30,000, we would not be in this position. I’m joined by Iain Dunn, the Chairman of Thatcham Flood Forum, in recognising that this is a phenomenal contribution which provided the impetus for the application to the EA.”

“The scheme will reduce the number of homes which are at direct risk of flooding. The flood alleviation facilities will provide the capability to store excess surface water run-off in the event of lesser but still significant storms. We estimate that more than 3,000 people will benefit directly, or indirectly from these works once finished.”

Thatcham suffered badly in July 2007 when storms hit the town. The flood forum wants to avoid this happening in the future, and to put in place physical defences and emergency systems to reduce the impact on local residents, homes and business properties.

Chris Boulton, Chief Executive of Greenham Trust, said: “It’s vitally important to do what we can to alleviate risk of flooding. This is an unusual project for us to be involved with, but it’s a situation that cannot be ignored. We are in a position to help, and unlock necessary funding for the full project to be realised. We have seen the devastating affect floods can have, most recently in Cumbria and Carlisle. We are pleased to be able to give this grant to help towards the forum’s flood mitigation plans.”

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