Flood-proof door
A flood-proof door installed on a property

Hull to get a flood learning lab

A flood-themed community hub and learning laboratory will open at Wilberforce Sixth Form College thanks to a new grant.

The hub will work with projects and communities in the city to deliver a large-scale flooding training programme.

It will be created after the Yorkshire Future Flood Resilience Pathfinder project, delivered by City of York Council, secured a £574k grant.

Three new jobs will be created to raise awareness of flooding and how to reduce flood risk.

Councillor Mike Thompson, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods and communities at Hull City Council, said: “We are delighted to be part of this Yorkshire-wide initiative, and have worked closely with our partners across the board to make this happen.

“As an area with the second highest level of flood risk in England combined the increasing threat of climate change, our city has plenty of challenges. This fund will help in our mission to address climate change, coupled with becoming a water resilient city through our work with the Living with Water partnership.

“Hull’s historic relationship with water is unique, so we are pleased to see that our city will host a lab-based learning facility that will establish ways in which we can engage with communities and the construction industry to embed water resilience into new and existing developments.”

It is hoped the initiative will encourage greater uptake of property flood resilience measures across the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee area.

The learning lab will see a physical demonstration project that can be adapted to showcase property flood resilience measures. It will be sustained and continued through the Living with Water project.

Property-level flood resilience can include a range of measures to reduce the damage that flooding can cause to buildings .This can include installing flood doors, hard floors and ensuring that electrics are raised off ground level around the home. The measures can significantly reduce the amount of time people are out of their home following a flood.

The project will also link up with ongoing flood schemes, including those in Calderdale, Leeds, York and Sheffield, to utilise existing best practice, such as Living with Water and the Eye on Calderdale initiative.

The three staff will deliver 600 days of training events across Yorkshire.

The project will be delivered with support from the Environment Agency, who will monitor the projects to highlight successes and identify lessons that can be used to foster greater use of property flood resilience measures elsewhere across the country. The insurance and construction industries will also support the project.

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said: “This new funding is a welcome step forwards for our efforts to boost the uptake of property-level resilience measures in homes and businesses across the country. Our experience shows that making these small changes in the home can make a huge difference to people’s lives when flooding takes place.”

The funding is part of a £3 million government investment announced by Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey this week that will help better protect a number of communities across England from flooding.

The Government is currently investing a record £2.6 billion to better protect 300,000 homes and thousands of business from flooding and coastal erosion between 2015 and 2021.

Blue bin
Pearson Park in Hull.