New Upper Calder Valley flood works complete and whole scheme to be done by 2021

Five new areas of defence works in a part of West Yorkshire repeatedly hit by floods are now complete - and the whole scheme expected to be finished by the end of the year.

New flood defences in Mytholmroyd. Picture: Environment Agency.

As part of the £35m Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation scheme in the Upper Calder Valley, work has finished at Greenhill Industrial Estate, St Michael’s Church, the River Calder and Cragg Brook Confluence, White Lee Clough and Brearley Fields Canal Spillway.

Work is continuing at Luddenden Foot and White Houses to Hawksclough, while Caldene Bridge opened in May.

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The area has been continually impacted by floods in recent years and experienced more in February after Storm Ciara swept into the region.

Paul Swales, senior advisor for the Environment Agency, said: “We now expect the flood defences to be completed towards the end of this calendar year, however this is still dependent on favourable weather conditions and provided that no other unexpected circumstances arise.

“Our team is working with the Department for Education to look at installing flood resilience measures to Burnley Road Academy which will be in addition to the flood defence works. This is a key asset for the village and will help reduce risk further to school children, parents and teachers from future flooding.”

The defences have been developed by the Environment Agency in partnership with Calderdale Council, while construction of the scheme is being carried out by main contractor VBA.

Greenhill Industrial Estate now has new flood defence walls with an access ramp alongside Vale Upholstery’s building.

Two new flood gates have also been put in place at either side of the private access bridge over the River Calder along with flap valves to help drain water away quickly if necessary.

At St Michael’s, there are new walls including glass panels and the river channel has been widened up to eight metres. A viewing platform and benches have been installed at the site of the former Post Office and the area is now open to the public.

There are walls in the gardens of Streamside Fold River Calder and Cragg Brook Confluence, while glass panels and flap valves have been installed on the left and right banks. At White

Lee Clough, a new overflow has been created from the culvert beneath Midgley Road to divert water away from Mytholmroyd into the Rochdale Canal.

Meanwhile, the Brearley Fields Canal Spillway canal towpath has re-opened with a new footbridge, among other additions.

During the next few months, wall construction will continue at Brearley upstream and downstream of the bridge after work paused following the discovery of an additional arch on the listed structure.

Calderdale Council's Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, Coun Scott Patient, said: "It's great to see that so much progress has been made with building these flood defences which will play a vital part in providing better protection for the Mytholmroyd community.

"I would like to thank local residents, businesses and commuters for their patience during the inevitable disruption caused to the village whilst this major and complex construction work is being carried out."