MORE than £10 million will be spent on flood defences across the Tyne Valley, the Environment Agency has announced.

The EA has already invested £10 million to improve flood defences in the five years since Storm Desmond wreaked havoc across the district.

Work has already started on a £1 million scheme to strengthen flood defences on the south bank of the Tyne at Corbridge and Devils Water, protecting 37 homes.

Elsewhere, work is ongoing in Acomb to extend and raise the existing defences and make improvements to the road bridge, protecting 32 homes. The Environment Agency is also working with landowners and the Tyne Rivers Trust to develop options for additional flood water storage capacity upstream of the town, which would have the added benefit of restoring habitats for local wildlife.

In Hexham, design work is underway for a £4.1 million project to reduce flood risk for up to 90 homes and businesses at Bridge End and Tyne Mills industrial estates. It's hoped work will start in Spring 2021.

Further flood works to protect 265 homes are due to be completed in the Spring.

The Environment Agency’s Tristan Drought, from the flood and coastal risk management team in the North East, said: “I remember vividly the devastating impact Storm Desmond had on Tyne Valley communities.

“By working collaboratively with local people we’ve been able to identify solutions together and create climate resilient communities.

"The £20million investment we’ve secured means that we can safeguard the local economy and better protect 15,000 properties across the North East.

“We can never completely eradicate the risk of flooding, however, with climate change already causing more frequent, intense flooding, it’s important that people are flood resilient. Being prepared is key."