The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) has announced £6.06m of funding for the Salisbury River Park project to alleviate the future risk of flooding in the town centre and deliver associated environmental benefits.
There is a high level of river flood risk in large parts of Salisbury city centre which is expected to increase due to climate change. As a result, the Salisbury River Park project will deliver essential infrastructure, providing flood risk alleviation and environmental improvements on the Maltings and Central Car Park sites to ‘de-risk’ them, enabling new development and city centre regeneration to progress.
The project will significantly reduce the risk of flooding to a large part of the city for both residents and businesses. It will also unlock the potential for a new residential-led scheme to come forward in line with the Maltings Masterplan which was endorsed by Strategic Planning Committee in June 2019.
As well as providing critical flood risk alleviation, the Salisbury River Park also seeks to transform the River Avon and its margins through central Salisbury by enabling river corridor improvements that will naturalise the river channels, improve climate change resilience and remove barriers to fish passage, increase biodiversity, improve amenity value and provide health and well-being opportunities.
The River Park will also enable economic growth and regeneration within central Salisbury including the Maltings and Central Car Park as well as improving the environment for residents and visitors alike.
Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said, “We are delighted the SWLEP has agreed to provide significant funding towards this scheme in Salisbury. The Salisbury River Park project is a joint scheme with the Environment Agency that will help reduce the flood risk to various areas in the city and improve leisure and recreational uses as well as ecology and biodiversity enhancements. These improvements will make possible city centre development in the future.
“This is one of the first initiatives to come forward from the recently endorsed Salisbury Central Area Framework which aims to ensure the city has a more vibrant and sustainable future.”
Paul Moorby, SWLEP Chair, added, “We are delighted to support this project with direct funding. It will unlock homes, businesses, public space and help our visitors, both domestic and international, to enjoy the wonderful heritage that Salisbury offers.”