Almost exactly a year after the project completed and re-opened to the public, the sea defence scheme from Fairhaven to Granny’s Bay was officially ‘opened’ on 22nd July.
The project, which stretches from Fairhaven Lake to Church Scar promenade on Seafield Road is designed to protect up to 2,400 properties from coastal erosion and flooding. Work began on site in 2018 after previous defences which were built in the late 1890s were identified as being in a failing condition, requiring emergency repairs to be financed every year to prevent a breach and coastal erosion.
Further to Fylde Council securing a £21.4m grant investment from the Environment Agency, VBA (a joint venture between Volker Stevin, Boskalis Westminster and SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business) has completed all the works under budget and ahead of the Contract Completion Date in December 2020.
The scheme completed in June 2020, however due to the coronavirus pandemic an official opening could not take place at the time.
Council officials including the Mayor and Councillor Tommy Threlfall, representatives from the contractor Volker Stevin, and officials from the Environment Agency came together to officially cut the ribbon and mark the end of the heavily praised scheme. Officials followed latest COVID guidelines during the event.
Keith Ashcroft, Area Director for the Environment Agency in Cumbria and Lancashire, said:
“I’m delighted the new sea defences from Fairhaven to Church Scar have been completed ahead of schedule, reducing the risk of flooding and coastal erosion up to 2,400 local properties. Sea defences were first built along this stretch of coastline in 1890, and this latest investment of £21 million means they’ll continue weathering storms for generations to come. The success of this project is testament to the strong working relationship between Fylde Council and the Environment Agency who are committed to making Lancashire resilient to climate change. By working together the risk of flooding has been reduced and the scheme has enhanced an already popular location which really benefits wildlife, well-being and the local economy.”
Mark Cronshaw, framework director for VBA, said:
“We are very proud of the work we’ve completed in partnership with Fylde Council, and are thrilled to be celebrating its official opening. The project has provided much needed new coastal protection and an upgraded promenade. Both throughout construction and post completion, it has received some fantastic feedback from local residents, testament to the entire team’s collaborative approach and dedication.”
Councillor Tommy Threlfall, the Council appointed representative for the Fairhaven and Church Scar Sea Defence project board added:
“What we see along the shoreline today is beyond my wildest dreams. I want to thank the fantastic team at Fylde Council and Volker Stevin for all of their hard work, which has been complemented many a time already from residents and visitors to the area. It is absolutely work to be proud of. I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the team at the Environment Agency as well as the Project Board who ensured the process was as smooth as possible throughout.”
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