FUNDING of £6.06 million has given to a project in Salisbury to alleviate future flood risks .

Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) announced the funding for the Salisbury River Park project.

The Salisbury River Park project aims to deliver essential infrastructure, providing flood risk alleviation and environmental improvements on the Maltings and Central Car Park site to "de-risk" the site and enable new development and city centre regeneration to come forward.

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.”

The Salisbury River Park will also look to transform the River Avon - 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, provide health and wellbeing opportunities.

It is hoped these environmental improvements will also lead to better cycle and pedestrian routes, enhanced green spaces with 2ha of new riverside habitat, new planting of trees and 13ha of public open spaces.

Paul Moorby, SWLEP Chair said of the project “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.”

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP said: “It is crucial that we invest in the right infrastructure to protect our communities. That is why we are investing £5.2m, through the Local Growth Fund, in flood risk alleviation and environmental improvements for Salisbury. Not only will the project improve residents’ safety, it will also bring exciting economic growth and regeneration opportunities to the region.”