- 16th February 2016
- Posted by: Joanne Woodhouse
- Category: Blog
JBA technical specialists have been working with the Welsh Government and Welsh coastal local authorities to develop a programme of transformational coastal flood and erosion risk projects through investment of £150 million using innovative finance mechanisms.
Central to the programme are the Welsh Government’s critical success factors of a strategic fit with local and national policies, value for money, affordability and deliverability, whilst incorporating wider community, social, economic and environmental benefits. Partnership working is anticipated to generate a 25% match-funding contribution towards the capital schemes.
Benefiting households and businesses
Almost 50 projects have been identified along the entire coastline at every scale from £50,000 to £40million and potentially benefiting up to 45,000 households and 4,500 businesses, as well as improving resilience to road, rail, port, harbour and utilities infrastructure, supporting community resilience, enhancing biodiversity and enabling regeneration.
An important aspect to the programme is around building partnerships to achieve economies of scale whilst ensuring that multiple and wider benefits can be delivered. To help this process along, we facilitated two well-attended workshops at the Eirias Stadium, Colwyn Bay and the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. Whilst the combined capacity of these two major venues is approaching 30,000, our two events nonetheless attracted an impressive 80 or so participants. Reluctantly and modestly, however, we opted to scale down our aspirations slightly and use their well-equipped meeting rooms rather than take to the main arena and crank the sound systems up to the fabled “11” on the dial!
Peter Kellam and Prys Davies from Welsh Government set the scene for the days’ activities and described the objectives of the programme, whilst Philip Bennett-Lloyd and Rachel Brisley, from JBA, presented on the emerging challenges and opportunities, examining aspirations and business drivers, quick wins and more strategic gains and management of change as the programme develops. Collaborative working and transparency were constant themes and we explored the factors that constitute good governance arrangements to underpin the relationships between partners and the importance of understanding the wide base of skills and expertise needed as the projects evolve.
Partners from Network Rail, Natural Resources Wales, The National Trust, The Crown Estate, RSPB, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and Bangor University described their responsibilities, assets and aspirations along the Welsh coast leading into lively breakout sessions where everyone had the opportunity to discuss the delivery of the programme in more detail and explore areas of mutual benefit. Workshops were facilitated by Phil and Rachel, and the rest of the team – Anne-Marie Moon, Krista Keating, Charlotte Beattie and David Revill.
Want to know more?
Over the coming months this exciting programme will move into the next phase where delivery options and associated costs and benefits will be evaluated with the aim of capital works beginning from 2018. Further information on the Welsh Government’s flood and coastal erosion risk responsibilities can be found here.