THE team behind an award-winning community flood prevention scheme in Hexham have been celebrating their success.

The Tyne Green Flood Alleviation Scheme was selected as the best community partnership project in the country at the flood and coast conference in Telford last month.

The idea came about following Storm Desmond in 2015.

The flooding caused by the storm devastated homes on Tyne Green, with some properties under several feet of water.

Residents of 15 properties decided to pool their flood grants together in order to protect their homes.

The flood water came through a foot bridge on Tyne Green under the railway.

The large mass of earth that now protects the homes is designed to stop the water coming under the railway line again.

The residents, led by Keith Hutton, worked with Northumberland County Council, the Environment Agency, and Network Rail to deliver the project.

On Thursday, July 4, Hexham MP Guy Opperman visited Tyne Green to celebrate with the team behind the project. Speaking at the celebration, Keith expressed his delight at winning the award.

He said: “It’s the first time this has been done in the UK.

“I wouldn’t like to see it tested, but I’m confident it’s been designed properly.

“We went down to Telford when they announced us as the winner. It was nice to be able to tell people here that we’d won.

“It’s the formal recognition that I find really rewarding.”

Mr Opperman, who lobbied in support of the scheme, was also pleased it had been recognised.

He added: “This is a groundbreaking project. The effort to make this happen was titanic. It rewarded partnership working at each level, between the Environment Agency, Network Rail, myself, the community and Northumberland County Council.

“We’ve done something that nobody else has done. It may seem small, but it’s a game changer.”

Coun. Nick Oliver, Northumberland’s representative on the regional flood and coastal commission, added: “I was in Telford to see the high quality of work being done to protect people from flooding right across the country.

“It’s particularly pleasing that this scheme won.”