Sheffield’s Victorian-era network of watercourse culverts are set to be transformed in a £3m revamp which will benefit nearly 4,000 homes and support more than 1,000 businesses.

Sheffield City Council’s cabinet has now approved plans to provide £936,700 towards the culvert renewal programme.

The remainder of funding is being provided by DEFRA and the Environment Agency.

It means work can begin on protecting nine of the city’s 48 primary culverts, measuring more than 9,625 metre (6.4miles). These have been identified as those in most need of repair or replacement.

The work on the nine culverts forms the first phase of wider plans to refurbish all 48 primary culverts across the city. The scheme will strengthen culverts for the next 70 years, benefiting:

  • 3,870 homes
  • 1,035 businesses
  • 18 development sites
  • 11 educational facilities
  • 12 emergency, medical and rescue facilities
  • Make 22 major roads and highways networks more resilient to the effects of flooding

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for transport and development at Sheffield City Council, said:

“The risk of flooding is due to grow significantly over the next ten years and I don’t need to remind people in Sheffield about the dangers it can pose to livelihoods and businesses.

“That is why we are taking decisive action to protect our city from the risk of flooding and making us more able to tackle the threat of man-made climate change.

“This will in turn help our communities and businesses to thrive. There is much to do, but the renewal of these nine important culverts and the long-term plans already in place across our waterways show how seriously we are taking this.”

James Mead, Environment Agency flood risk adviser, said:

“We are very pleased to be working in collaboration with Sheffield City Council on this project, which is part of a catchment-wide approach to reducing flood risk across the city.

“Sheffield City Council is leading one of the largest flood programmes planned in the country and we continue to support them in delivering this.”

The council’s flood management team is hoping to progress six new flood schemes valued at £120m as part of the Government’s National Flood Investment Programme.

We have already built one of these schemes – new flood defences in the Lower Don Valley at a cost of £20m.

The nine culverted watercourses for renewal are at Shay House Lane Water Course in Stocksbridge, Fox Hill Road / Penistone Road Water Course (WC) in Wadsley Bridge, Tongue Gutter (Upper Reach) in Parson Cross, Pack Horse Lane  in High Green, Allen Croft Brook in Stocksbridge,  Fulwood Road in Fulwood, Crimicar Lane in Fulwood, Deer Park in  Stannington and Dobcroft Road/Pingle Avenue in Millhouses.