North Wales coastal defence to shield 3500+ homes and businesses, as it completes under budget and ahead of schedule

Climate Change Minister Julie James has officially opened East Rhyl coastal defence scheme, which has completed under budget and almost a year ahead of schedule.

The Minister will also visit Central Rhyl and Central Prestatyn coastal defence schemes currently under construction.

The three projects, that cost a combined £125m, will reduce risk to more than 3,500 homes and businesses.

Both Rhyl and Central Prestatyn flood defences will receive a substantial upgrading during the next two and a half years, with the promenade in Rhyl transformed.

Balfour Beatty have been appointed to deliver the projects, which have been funded by Welsh Government and Denbighshire County Council.

In East Rhyl, the new 600 metre sea wall, backed up with 128,000 tonnes of rock armour, will benefit over 1,650 properties for the next 100 years, including those affected by the 2013 floods. Despite the pandemic, work continued after the scheme was agreed in 2019.

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, said: “I am impressed, delighted and thankful to all partners who have worked to deliver the East Rhyl coastal scheme under budget and nearly a year ahead of schedule, despite the trials and tribulations of the pandemic.

“As climate change worsens, extreme weather events will become more regular and more intense, placing Wales at high risk of floods.

“We are listening to the evidence by International Panel on Climate Change and the UK Climate Change Committee, and we are responding by making record investments in adaptation, defending what we can, where it is viable to do so.

“That is why I recently announced record levels of funding, to the tune of £214million, to improve flood protection to thousands of homes and businesses across Wales from the devastation and havoc wreaked by floods.”

Councillor Jason McLellan, Leader of Denbighshire County Council said: “The work going on to regenerate Rhyl, including this huge coastal defence scheme, is genuinely exciting and the projects which have already been delivered have vastly improved the town.

“Denbighshire County Council is committed to long-term development in Rhyl and the aim of this huge regeneration project is to invest in the town for the benefit of our residents, businesses, and visitors.”

Councillor Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “As the Rhyl East County Councillor I will never forget the 5th of December 2013.  “Denbighshire County Council had opened the Rhyl Leisure Centre as an evacuation centre due to the severe flooding, and to see my residents coming in soaking wet clinging to their loved animals will never leave me.

“As I have my walks along the new East Rhyl Sea Defences, I still have residents coming up to me and saying how grateful they are as they now can sleep at night without having to worry about their homes flooding.”

Eddie Lundon, Balfour Beatty Area Director said: “The completion of the East Rhyl Coastal Defence Scheme marks three years of hard work and dedication and is testament to Balfour Beatty’s ability to efficiently deliver large-scale coastal defence projects.

“Through leveraging our expert capabilities and deep domain knowledge, working in true collaboration with Denbighshire County Council and our supply chain, we have protected 1,650 homes from coastal flooding and provided communities across East Rhyl with a lasting, positive legacy.”

Ten years ago, Rhyl was hit by large scale flooding when 400 people were evacuated from their homes. The scheme will improve coastal flood defences to protect homes, businesses and the tourist economy from flooding events and coastal erosion well into the future.