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Award for Ipswich Tidal Barrier set to bring down Waterfront insurance premiums

PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 July 2019

Work is well underway on the  Ipswich Tidal Barrier.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Work is well underway on the Ipswich Tidal Barrier. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A £67million flood defence project in Ipswich has won a top award from industry-leading engineers.

An aerial view of the new Ipswich tidal barrier Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCYAn aerial view of the new Ipswich tidal barrier Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

The Ipswich Tidal Flood Barrier, which officially opened in February, won an exceptional merit gong from the Institution of Civil Engineers.

It was recognised for the technical excellence and innovation category.

It has also scooped an award in the Constructing Excellence South East Centre for Built Environment prizes and been shortlisted for an award in the British Construction Industry awards for climate resilience project of the year.

Andrew Usborne from the Environment Agency, who oversaw the project, said: "This is fantastic news for everyone involved, including all the Environment Agency staff, our contractors VBA and sub-contractors.

From left to right: Emma Howard Boys, Andrew Usborne and Chris Finbow from the Environment Agency at the opening. Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCYFrom left to right: Emma Howard Boys, Andrew Usborne and Chris Finbow from the Environment Agency at the opening. Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

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"It has been a hugely successful construction project, one which is being used as an example to other Environment Agency schemes across the country of safe and effective partnership working."

The project was completed over three years and will now protect more than 1,600 homes and 400 business from flooding.

Similar in design to the Thames Barrier, the rotating gate can hold back tidal surges, and is complemented by 1,100 metres of flood walls and floodgates around the banks of the Orwell on both sides.

The Ipswich Tidal Barrier being set in place. Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCYThe Ipswich Tidal Barrier being set in place. Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

As well as the environmental boost, the barrier also aims to help unlock additional growth in and around the Ipswich Waterfront area, which could create as many as 4,000 new jobs.

The completed barrier means that insurance premiums for Waterfront property will decrease and make it an even more attractive proposition for firms looking to base themselves in the area.

Alongside the £54.6m investment from the Environment Agency, the barrier was funded by Ipswich Borough Council, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and UK Power Networks.

At the February launch, Environment Agency chairman Emma Howard Boyd said: "Climate change means increasing storms and rising sea levels all over the world. This flood scheme will help people and businesses prosper in a more resilient Ipswich over the course of the next century."

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