Anchorsholme Coastal Protection Scheme

Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme

On Monday 30 October 2017, a ribbon was cut to officially open the £27.1 million Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme. The scheme is designed to reduce flood risk to 4,800 properties in Blackpool.

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It was officially opened by Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Councillor Fred Jackson, with the Chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd.

Opening of Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme
Opening of the Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme

The new defence at Anchorsholme safeguards Blackpool’s iconic seafront tramway. It also helps to protect vital infrastructure and a major pumping station.

A kilometre of concrete seawall has been replaced. It’s maintained access to the beach, and created a new promenade with the amazing views over the Irish Sea.

Take a look at it in this video clip from May 2020 –

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The new defences will help protect Blackpool’s tourism and recreational income for the next 100 years.

Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme, Blackpool
Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme, Blackpool

The promenade also links the seafront to the nearby Anchorsholme Park. It’s recently been developed after works carried out by United Utilities to improve bathing waters.

The new park is amazing! We went along to the opening event –

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Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme

Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “The new sea wall at Anchorsholme was made possible thanks not only to £20 million of government funding, but also the huge support of local government and other partners.

“The result is brilliant news for the community. Regenerating the area and providing better protection for almost 5,000 homes and Blackpool’s iconic tram network ahead of winter.”

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: “Blackpool’s iconic beachfront is visited by thousands of families each year. This new coastal defence will better protect the town’s popular tourist attractions, homes and businesses. It’s great news and demonstrates how our work benefits people and the environment.”

Dean Banks, Balfour Beatty Managing Director for UK Construction Services, said: “The completion of the Anchorsholme flood defence scheme will provide benefits to the Blackpool community now and for years to come.

Fylde Peninsula Coastal Programme

The Fylde Peninsula Coastal Programme is a partnership between Wyre, Blackpool and Fylde councils and the Environment Agency. The aim is to reduce flood risk to people and develop historic and natural environments.

Anchorsholme, together with the Rossall sea defence project, forms one of the largest coastal defence projects in the country.

Princes Way Reopens as sea defence works near completion

Published November 2016

The new promenade, along with Princes Way, reopened to the public on Monday 14 November 2016.

Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme
Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme

The two and a half year construction programme has seen a brand new 1km seawall built. It replaces the old crumbling structure. A newly elevated road and better access to the nearby park have also been installed.

The new £27m sea defence will provide better flood protection to thousands of nearby properties. The area has been prone to flooding, as recently as 2013. Around 4,800 properties will benefit.

The previous flood defences were originally constructed back in the 1930s. They’ve been secured and built over, with approximately 2,500 precast concrete revetment slabs, wave breaker units and wave walls. Together with around 3,000 tonnes of steel they provide the primary flood protection from Little Bispham to Anchorsholme.

In addition, precast wall and step units provide the rear defences. They help to achieve the required level of flood protection for the surrounding community.

Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme
Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme

Memorial plaques from the old seawall have been returned to the new promenade. Pay and display parking has also been introduced to the road.

Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme
Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme

In total, over 160 workers were employed as part of the construction process. Coastal construction experts were joined by dozens of local apprentices from across the Fylde coast.

Raising the Road

Princes Way used to flood regularly during bad weather and high tides. It’s been raised to the same level as Anchorsholme Park. The road is far less likely to flood now, while providing better access between the Promenade and the park.

What South Promenade Cleveleys and Princes Way were like…

Back in June 2015, we took our dash-cam and filmed the drive along the seafront highway. Join us at the end of Victoria Road West at Cleveleys. Drive along South Promenade, Cleveleys to the boundary with Blackpool at Kingsway, onto Princes Way.

On your left you can see the new sea defence works. At Anchorsholme Park the road is closed for ongoing construction works.

You can also see Anchorsholme Parktoo. It was fenced off for separate works by United Utilities, building a wastewater/sewage storage tank.

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Before and after

Take a look at these ‘before’ photos, which show just how bad a state the wall was in!

Road closure at Little Bispham, with the sea overtopping behind, in 2011
Road closure at Little Bispham, with the sea overtopping behind, in 2011
Storm damage at Anchorsholme in December 2013
Storm damage at Anchorsholme in December 2013

More about the Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme

Published October 2013

Defra and the Environment Agency formally approved £86 million of funding and gave the green light for work to start. It’s one of the largest flood defence programmes in the UK.

Blackpool and Wyre Councils worked in partnership to protect 12,000 properties from the risk of coastal flooding.

Councillor Derek Antrobus is Chair of the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. He said: “We’re committed to reducing the risk of flooding to as many homes and businesses in the North West as possible, with the money available.

“The Rossall and Anchorsholme flood defence scheme is one of the biggest currently planned in the UK. It’s fantastic for our region. A really positive step towards making communities living on our coastline as resilient to flooding as possible.”

Funding the Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme

The Fylde Peninsula Coastal Programme secured £86m of funding. The money came from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). £64m for Rossall and £22m for Anchorsholme.

A £17m project for Fairhaven Lake and Church Scar is also underway.

The Anchorsholme area is at the northern boundary of Blackpool. There, it meets Cleveleys and the new, award winning sea defences. It’s also where major flooding also occurred in 1927 and 1977.

The sea defences at Anchorsholme serve as a barrier for 4,500 residential properties sitting in a low basin of land.

Flooding and road closures

Flooding to the promenade, highway and tramway occurs regularly during storms. Waves over-top the existing sea defences, resulting in temporary road closures.

A United Utilities pumping station forms part of the sea wall at Anchorsholme. This means that Anchorsholme and parts of Rossall are also at risk of sewerage flooding. As well as flooding properties, loss of the pumping station would have a devastating effect on regional bathing water quality.

Closing the highway is disruptive to traffic. Members of the public are drawn to the spectacle of the waves overtopping. That in itself presents a serious risk of people being swept into the sea.

It’s less exposed here than at Rossall. So the optimised solution is to replace the existing 1930s concrete seawall with new. At the same time, raise the promenade to stop the highway from flooding several times a year.

Other UK Sea Defences

The funding coming to the Fylde Coast is part of a total pot of £2.3bn around the UK. The funding is for 93 new flood defences which will provide protection for 64,000 homes around the UK.

Did you know? One in six homes in England is at risk of flooding, according to the Environment Agency.

The Rossall Scheme is the largest funding pot at £80m. Plus the £28.4m of money heading to Anchorsholme.

Some of the other largest projects include:

  • A partnership-funded £50.5m scheme in Leeds
  • Improved protection for 14,000 homes from £14.5m flood defences at Grimsby Docks
  • A £28.6m sea defence in Great Yarmouth
  • More than £16m being spent on River Thames tidal defences
  • A £10m scheme on the east bank of the River Arun, protecting Littlehampton in West Sussex

Sea defences along our coastline are replaced according to the risk of flooding

The ingenuity and flair of designers and engineers has given us a superb promenade and public space at Blackpool. It’s a space to be proud of, while protecting properties and businesses from flooding.

The highly successful Cleveleys scheme finishes at the Blackpool boundary at Kingsway. Then the promenade at Anchorsholme continues as Princes Way. Blackpool engineers determined that the sea wall on Princes Way was in a progressive mode of failure. The deterioration is clear for all to see. Many homes in the area suffered in the floods of 1977. During high tides and strong winds, the sea comes over the wall and the flooded road is closed for safety.

Jumping through Funding Hoops

The approved strategy was put to the Environment Agency National Project Board in December 2011. A Business Case was then put together and submitted back to the same board in Feb/March 2012.

Local residents were asked to show their backing for the Shoreline Strategy Plan. Then a formal grant application was made in February 2013, upon which the positive decision was made to grant funding.

Birse Coastal (to become Balfour Beatty) secured the work through a tender process in early 2012. Blackpool and Wyre Council worked together to draw down the funds and manage the project as one team. Combining the contracts enables them to make better use of expertise and resources.

While you’re here…

Have a look at the homepage of the Live Blackpool website for more of the latest updates.

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