A £2.7MILLION Northumberland flood scheme is complete.

More than 250 homes and businesses in Ponteland are better protected from flooding now, the Environment Agency said.

Work on the Ponteland Flood Alleviation Scheme started in August 2020 and included replacing the existing flood defence on the south bank of the River Pont with one continuous sheet piled flood wall.

The wall has been built to complement the existing local environment, with a stone effect and complementary colouring.

More than 250 trees have been planted to replace those lost during construction and to enhance the local environment, including many in a meadow at Ponteland Community Primary School, as well as some adjacent to the river.

Kirsty Harwood, Environment Agency Project Manager for the Ponteland flood scheme, said: “We understand just how devastating it is to be flooded and we consulted with the community throughout to develop a scheme which meets their needs.

“We know there is a long history of flooding in Ponteland and although we can never eradicate the risk entirely, now this project is complete we hope it provides reassurance for local residents that they are better protected now and into the future.

“As well as the new flood defences, which we have built in keeping with the existing local environment, we have made some environmental enhancements to the area, with a new more natural river bank, and supported the local school in their ambition to become a Forest School.

“The overall increase in the diversity and number of trees will improve habitat and boost local biodiversity in the area.”

Hexham MP Guy Opperman said: “This additional investment from the Government for flood protection here in Ponteland is fantastic and I know is hugely welcomed by the many residents and businesses affected by the devastating consequences of flooding.

“I recently saw first-hand the vital work that has gone into protecting our communities in Ponteland. It is brilliant the work has now been completed – the extra investment has turned into action so quickly, ensuring that confidence is given to those concerned about flooding locally.’’

Coun. Nick Oliver, who represents Northumberland on the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, said: "It's wonderful to see another important flood defence scheme delivered in Northumberland. These works will bring extra flood protection and peace of mind to local residents and businesses - a great effort by everybody involved."

The Ponteland scheme was one of 22 flood defence projects across the country to benefit from a £170million government funding boost which was announced in July 2020.

The investment brought forward work on flood defence schemes across the country to drive economic growth and better protect thousands of homes, business and jobs from the effects of flooding.

Ponteland received a £450,000 cash injection used to fill a shortfall in funding, allowing the Environment Agency to start construction immediately.