A MAJOR scheme to prevent businesses from being flooded again is in the pipeline.

The Environment Agency has revealed it is developing a scheme to reduce the risk of flooding from the River Tyne at both the Bridge End and Tyne Mills industrial estates in Hexham.

Both sites suffered significant flood damage as Storm Desmond wreaked havoc in December, 2015.

The Environment Agency is currently investigating several options to reduce the risk of flooding, with the possibility of removing a section of an existing flood embankment at Anick Grange Haugh, the site which was recently earmarked for quarrying sand and gravel.

A spokesman from the Environment Agency said: “Our updated modelling shows that returning this area of land to ‘functional flood plain’ would help to protect the industrial estates against the risk of flooding.

“We are engaging with local landowners and intend to promote our preferred option for the scheme shortly.

“The Environment Agency is committed to protecting life and property.

“We understand how devastating it is to be flooded and the impact it has on lives and livelihoods, and we are committed to ensuring local residents and businesses are protected.”

The scheme would be part-funded by central government and has been scheduled for delivery in 2020-2021.

Members of the Save Tyne Valley campaign group fighting against expected plans for the quarry application from Thompsons of Prudhoe said they were concerned about the impact the flooding scheme would have on the quarry site if it went ahead.