IN 2000, Leeds city centre was only centimetres away from flooding and there were further near-misses in 2004, June 2007 and January 2008.
The Environment Agency has estimated that over 4,500 residential and commercial properties are at risk and around £400m of direct damage would be caused by a major flood from the River Aire. The city council hopes to get between £8m and £10m in flood defence grant aid from the Government for the first phase. Money from the European Regional Development Fund would take the total amount in the pot to around £40m to £50m.
The council is keen to get the scheme moving as quickly as possible.