£17.8 million flood defence scheme for Skipton officially opens

Topic Projects

Date 12 Oct 2018

A flood defence scheme built by the Galliford Try/Black & Veatch joint venture in Skipton, North Yorkshire, was officially opened on 11 October.

The £17.8 million project, led by the Environment Agency, helps to protect 378 homes and 165 businesses in the town centre from flooding from Eller Beck and Waller Hill Beck which rise very quickly after heavy rain.

Two flood storage areas have been constructed upstream of Skipton at both becks to slow the flow of water from the surrounding hills, reducing the risk of the becks causing flooding. The new flood storage areas can hold a combined total of 111 million gallons of water equivalent to 168 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Eller Beck is the larger of the two storage areas. A 13 metre high, 610 metre wide earthworks dam has been built which can hold 95 million gallons of water. Normal flows pass unrestricted through a pipe known as a culvert within the dam. During a flood, a barrier called a penstock will be lowered to block off the culvert inlet so that water can be held back to form a reservoir. Environmental considerations include an otter ledge through the culvert. The scheme also includes 300 metres of new flood defence walls in the town centre.

Representatives from the Environment Agency and Galliford Try are pictured at the inlet works within the Eller Beck embankment. They include Ravi Darigala, Flood & Coastal Director (third left) and Dave West, Project Manager (fourth left).