More cash for flood defences

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Hawick’s flood protection scheme could be completed six months ahead of schedule following news of a £400,000 funding boost.

Scottish Borders Council’s budget, which was approved by councillors yesterday (Thursday), includes the additional flood scheme cash which has been earmarked to bring forward the final design stages by one year. This, according to SBC, could deliver the whole project up to six months earlier than originally anticipated (in 2022).

Flood group chairman and local councillor Stuart Marshall said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the leader of the council has announced this additional funding. It may well bring the flood protection scheme forward by months and when you’ve been flooded out of your home three times in ten years and when you’ve been evacuated three times in three months, then I’m sure those who have been affected will also welcome this news.”

Council leader David Parker said: “In terms of the additional capital resource for the Hawick Flood Protection Scheme, the council has now done everything possible to advance the scheme ahead of full-scale construction.

“The council is currently developing the outline design phase for the scheme and consultation is also under way with statutory bodies and the community.

“Bringing forward the final design stage will allow every opportunity for Hawick’s flood protection scheme to be put in place in the quickest time possible.”

As well as the council’s increased investment in the town’s flood protection scheme, the budget contained an additional £500,000 per year for roads across the region, a 14 per cent increase on the current revenue budget, representing an extra £2.5million investment over the five years of the budget plan.