26 March 2018
A pioneering partnership project to reduce the risk of flooding and implement sustainable drainage in the North East has scooped a national award.
The Northumbria Integrated Drainage Partnership (NIDP) won in the Working in Partnership category of the Project Excellence Awards as part of the national Flood & Coast 2018 event.
The NIDP sees Northumbrian Water, the Environment Agency and the region’s 13 local authorities work together to identify the areas in most need of improved drainage as well as developing skills and best practice.
The approach, which was first piloted in Tyneside and then rolled out to the region in 2014, sees the partnership prioritise projects and work together on design.
Examples of multi-million pound partnership projects includes Brunton Park, Killingworth and Fellgate Estate schemes, but there are many smaller initiatives in the pipeline as well.
There is currently a 10-year programme of investigation and modelling taking place ahead of schemes in future years.
Working together also means better community and environmental outcomes can be achieved, such as better facilities and recreation areas, and habitat creation.
Richard Robinson from the Environment Agency in the North East said: “We are immensely proud of the pioneering partnership work we do in the North East. From the concept some five years ago all of the partners have strived to make it successful.
“This award is recognition of all that hard work. The judges were impressed with the depth and breadth of the partnership and a number of other organisations around the country have asked to know more about it and how we make it work.”
Richard Warneford, Wastewater Director at Northumbrian Water, added: “Flooding doesn’t know boundaries that people put in place between agencies or authorities, and it is something that can affect any of us across the region, so we stand a far better chance of dealing with the problem as a partnership than we do working individually.
“That’s the real strength of the NIDP, because we have so many experts with a range of experiences, and this award reflects the potential for achieving effective results for the whole of the North East.”
Phil Rothwell, Chair of the Northumbria Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, said: “Working together to create integrated and sustainable flooding solutions to tackle flooding from all its sources gives better outcomes for customers and means an efficient delivery of projects resulting in better value for money.
“The North East is a great example of partners working together to reach shared goals and I’m delighted the NIDP have won this national award to recognise these efforts.”
The Northumbria RFCC consists of elected and independent members and plays an important part in deciding local priorities for the flood and coastal risk management programme in North East England. It receives funding from a variety of sources, including from Government Grant-in-Aid, public and private contributions and a levy raised through local authorities.
Image shows (L-R): Phil Rothwell, Chair of Northumbria RFCC, Aaron McNeill from Northumberland County Council, Richard Robinson from the Environment Agency and David Charlton from Northumbrian Water receiving their award from Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency (Centre).
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