WORKS to protect Aberaeron from flooding with a new coastal defence scheme have obtained Welsh Government funding of nearly £27m.
The £31.59m Aberaeron Coastal Defence Scheme will be funded through a £26.85m contribution from the Welsh Government’s Coastal Risk Management Programme, together with a £4.74m contribution from Ceredigion County Council.
The scheme includes the construction of a rock breakwater extending out from North Pier, refurbishment and re-building of pier head of South Pier, construction of flood walls, construction of flood gate at Pwll Cam inner harbour and improvements to the existing defences on South Beach.
The scheme itself was approved at the February meeting of Ceredigion County Council’s Development Management Committee.
The development of the scheme has been undertaken over a period of five years by council officers, working alongside consultant engineers Atkins.
County Councillor for Aberaeron and Aberarth, Elizabeth Evans, said “I am absolutely delighted that this scheme can now begin. My heartfelt thanks to Ceredigion officers for their absolute commitment in getting this scheme over the line.
“The residents and businesses of Aberaeron have been very patient and that is very much appreciated. Aberaeron’s future will now be secure, as a result of this funding from Welsh Government and Ceredigion council. I couldn’t be happier.”
Works to protect Aberaeron from coastal flooding have previously included 2009 works at North Beach which included a raised sea wall, beach nourishment and shore control structures.
Those works have had a significant benefit in protecting the north-western part of the town from overtopping flood risk from the sea, but only addressed part of the flood risk problem.
Storms in December 2013, January 2014 and October 2017 led to the closure of Quay Parade and overtopping of the current defences within the harbour and south beach.
Cabinet Member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services and Carbon Management Cllr Keith Henson said: “The rising sea levels and storms pose a serious threat to our seaside town of Aberaeron. Implementing this scheme will improve the level of protection afforded to the many businesses and homes in the town and will preserve the unique and historical character of the area for future generations.”
The contractor appointed to undertake the latest construction works is BAM Nuttall Ltd, who successfully completed the Aberaeron North Beach works in 2009.
Discussions will now take place between the council, Atkins and BAM to finalise the contract award and the construction programme for the works.
Further information regarding how the construction works will be phased and delivered will be shared in due course.