Last chance to get cash to protect against flooding

Communities are being called to apply for flood protection grant before the fund closes at the end of March
Communities are being called to apply for flood protection grant before the fund closes at the end of March
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COMMUNITIES across the county have just weeks left to apply for funding to help them shore up their flooding defences.

Communities are being urged to apply for help from West Sussex County Council’s Operation Watershed scheme before the fund is closed on March 31.

To be considered, all applications must be submitted by the deadline.

A total of £1.1million was made available by the county council this financial year for groups to apply for.

So far more than 60 project applications have been received – with another 40 in the pipeline – valued at more than £800,000.

Large-scale ditch clearances, fixing or unblocking culverts, digging drainage channels and flooding surveys have all been made possible thanks to the scheme.

The project built on the success of Operation Watershed 2013, when 133 projects were funded by grants totalling £1.25million.

To be eligible, community groups need to demonstrate a commitment to maintaining it, monitoring it, and raising awareness of flood risk once the project is finished.

Pieter Montyn, the county council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “With one month to go there is still money available in the pot.

“Over the past two years Operation Watershed has helped hundreds of schemes at locations all over the county.

“We urge any community group who think something can be done to alleviate flooding in their areas to get in touch with us.”

It’s easy to apply for a grant and county council community officers can help you through the process.

Technical expertise from the Highways officers is also available to assess applications.

If you are interested in applying to Operation Watershed, e-mail: operation.watershed@westsussex.gov.uk or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk and type ‘Operation Watershed’ in the search bar.