Funding boost for sandscaping project next to gas hub

Bacton gas terminal from the air. Picture; MIKE PAGE

Bacton gas terminal from the air. Picture; MIKE PAGE - Credit: Archant

A scheme designed to halt erosion along a key part of north Norfolk's coastline is getting million-pound boost under a new 'growth deal' with the government.

The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) deal means the Bacton to Walcott Coastal Management Scheme will get £1.08 million towards its goal of securing the coast, in an area home to the economically vital Bacton Gas Terminal.

Doug Field, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said he was delighted the grant could be made, and said the coastal management scheme provided 'excellent value for money in terms of the growth and resilience' to the economy.

The project - along with a redevelopment of a new Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in Lowestoft - is the first successful applicant following a £9m capital growth programme announced at an LEP board meeting in October last year.

Mr Field said: 'Bacton is a vital hub in the UK's energy infrastructure, while Cefas is a key part of our world-class life sciences cluster here in the east. Both align strongly with the aims of the Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Strategy and I'm delighted that our board has approved Growth Deal funding.'

The costal management scheme is a public/private partnership project to protect the Bacton Gas Terminal and nearby villages of Bacton and Walcott from coastal erosion.

Using an innovative Dutch 'Sandscaping' method, up to 1.8 million cubic metres of sand will be pumped onto the beach to protect the area's sea defences from damage and reduce flood risk.

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The overall project will cost up to £20m.

Councillor John Lee, North Norfolk District Council's cabinet member for coastal management, praised the fundinh.

He said: 'This is a key piece of funding in the delivery of an innovative and exciting project which has the potential to provide great benefit to this section of coastline and the communities which live along it.

'North Norfolk District Council is delighted at the LEP decision and for their welcome comments about value for money and resilience.'

The Bacton Gas Terminal processes up to one third of the UK gas supply.