ALMOST £2million has been allocated towards redeveloping the river Avon corridor running through the Maltings.

The funds were confirmed at the latest Wiltshire Council cabinet meeting, which took place on Tuesday, March 24 at the County Hall in Trowbridge, and the proposals have now been passed to the Cabinet for final approval.

The proposals include the agreement to the allocation of £1.9m to the Maltings Phase 1 River Corridor Improvements scheme, as well as agreeing to grant to the Environment Agency up to £2 million to deliver the scheme, using a Local Growth Fund grant approved by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

The proposal states: “Council officers will work collaboratively with the Environment Agency to secure additional funding required to deliver the whole scheme, with the £1.9 million capital allocation serving as a backstop reserve in case this cannot be achieved from other available funding sources.”

The proposal also adds: “The proposals of this report will not only re-establish the ability to develop on the Maltings site by mitigating flood risk and enhancing the natural environment, but will have wider benefits to the city of Salisbury, its residents, workers and visitors.”

Wiltshire Council leader and cabinet member for economic development Phillip Whitehead said: “Anyone who has looked at the flood maps of Salisbury in the last 12 months will realise that they have changed considerably. An area that went through the river corridor past the Maltings that previously was not heavily in the flood zone, now is.

“As a result we have been working with the Environment Agency to come up with a plan for this that not only ensures the safety and protection of property in Salisbury, but still enables us to develop the Maltings and the central area in the future.”

Cllr Whitehead added: “We don’t just want a set of flood barriers, we want to create a green corridor down through the centre of the city that acts not only as a flood protection scheme but also enhances that area enormously. I think this is a fabulous way of doing this.

"It will allow us to redevelop the Maltings, the central car park, it will enable us to reduce the flood risk to residents, and it also links into the programme of the Salisbury Central Area Framework.

“It will also create new and improved spaces for public enjoyment of the river.”

Councillor Pauline Church, councillor for Wilton and Lower Wylye Valley and cabinet member for children, education and skills, said: “It is absolutely wonderful to see this project finally coming to fruition.

“It will open up an amazing recreational benefit for the area and also the flood mitigation.

“The rivers are one of the jewel’s in Salisbury’s crown - I can’t wait to approve it.”