Canney announces improvements in OPW Minor Flood Works Scheme

2 June 17

Seán Canney, T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Flood Relief announced today that a review of the OPW Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection funding scheme provides for improvements to the scheme in a number of key areas. The scheme provides funding to local authorities to carry out localised flood relief works.

Speaking today, the Minister said, “The OPW, conducted a review of this Scheme as it has been in place since 2009.  Everyone will, no doubt, recall the severe flooding of 2015/2016.  I know that many of the works carried out under this Scheme provided protection to communities then and I am determined that as many as possible will benefit from further works that can be carried out.  The review, which involved consultation with local authorities and other stakeholders, including the IFA, examined all the existing criteria of the Scheme with a view to strengthening and improving the operability of the Scheme”.

Minister Canney continued, “I am therefore delighted to announce that the upper financial threshold has been increased significantly from €500,000 to €750,000 per project and for the first time, farm yards/buildings will be included as commercial premises in all categories.  Other improvements include lowering the benefit to costs ratio for smaller projects, improved benefit allowances for different property types and updated methodology for diverted journeys due to flooding”.

The Minister went on to say, “The Scheme has been very successful to date in facilitating the carrying out of a whole range of works and studies by local authorities throughout the country.  Since the Scheme was introduced over €38 million in funding has been approved in respect of over 600 applications from local authorities for projects to protect an estimated 6,000 homes from flooding”.

The OPW has contacted all local authorities with details of the revised scheme and the OPW website will be updated shortly with the revised criteria.

Minister Canney concluded, “The success of this Scheme is in no small part down to the very valuable work being carried out by the local authorities in helping to address the more localised flooding problems in the country.  I look forward to the continued involvement of the local authorities in driving the success of the Minor Works Scheme”.

-ENDS-

For further information please contact Client Services and Communications Unit at opwcsc@opw.ie

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Notes to Editors:

Background:

The Minor Works Scheme was introduced by the OPW on an administrative, non-statutory basis in 2009 following the severe flooding that year. The purpose of the Scheme is to provide funding to local authorities to undertake minor flood mitigation works or studies to address localised fluvial (river) flooding and coastal protection problems within their administrative areas. The Scheme generally applies where a solution can be readily identified and achieved in a short time frame. The works to be funded are carried out under local authority powers and ongoing maintenance of the completed works is the responsibility of the local authority.

Under the existing Scheme, applications are considered for projects that are estimated to cost not more than €500,000 in each instance. Funding of up to 90% of the cost is available for approved projects.  Applications are assessed by the OPW having regard to the specific economic, social and environmental criteria of the Scheme, including a cost benefit ratio and having regard to the availability of funding for flood risk management.

The revised criteria will be available on www.opw.ie next week.