Contractor appointed to construct major city flood defences

A contractor has been appointed to carry out major flood defence works to help protect thousands of homes and businesses in Leeds.

Leeds City Council has awarded the contract to BMM, a joint venture between BAM Nuttall and Mott MacDonald who will work together with the project team (which includes the Environment Agency, Arup and other organisations) on the main construction work in the city centre and Holbeck extending 4.3km between Leeds train station and Thwaite Mills.

The £45million Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme first phase, will see the installation of innovative moveable weirs at Crown Point and at Knostrop which will be the first of their kind to be used in the UK.

BMM will complete design work and then commence work on site at the beginning of January 2015, finishing by March 2017. Once completed, the defences will provide the city centre and over 3,000 homes and 500 businesses with protection against a one in 75 year flood event from the River Aire and the Hol Beck. It will also open up key regeneration opportunities in the South Bank area, unlocking business growth and development opportunities.

The initial part of the first phase saw defences constructed at Woodlesford providing residents with protection against a one in 200 year flood event from the River Aire.

This next stage of phase one will see the replacement of the existing fixed weirs with moveable weirs that can be lowered in flood conditions to reduce river levels and the threat of river flooding.

An island at Knostrop Cut which separates the river from the canal will also be removed to allow the river and canal to merge. This will create additional flood storage and assist the flow of water out of the city centre during flood conditions. Low level flood defences and landscaping in the city centre will also be constructed.

The Leeds Flood Alleviation scheme is being funded by Leeds City Council, the Department for Environment, Food and Agriculture (Defra), the Environment Agency and the Department for Business Industry and Skills (BIS).

The project is being delivered by Leeds City Council working closely with the Environment Agency and other partners.

Leeds City Council executive member for transport and the economy, Councillor Richard Lewis said:

“I’m pleased we have strong partnership and contractual arrangements in place that mean we can get on and carry out this vital work to protect Leeds city centre from the risk of flooding. Not only will the new defences protect properties and businesses from floods but they will also have a positive impact on the growth and regeneration of the Leeds economy, particularly the development of the South Bank area.”

Allan Rogers, Environment Agency Framework Director at BAM Nuttall Ltd, said:

“As part of the WEM framework (Water and Environment Management Framework) procurement route of the Environment Agency, we are pleased to secure this significant flood alleviation scheme for Leeds City Council. The design and construction contract involves some innovative ‘firsts’ in the UK in the provision of adjustable inflatable weirs.

“BAM Nuttall Mott Macdonald JV worked closely with Leeds and Arup in understanding and securing the contract, and look forward to bringing another significant engineering infrastructure project to life to protect homes and businesses from flooding.”

Watch a video ‘fly though’ animation of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme which takes you through the flood defences along length of the scheme, on the River Aire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQ-_MZyll94

Note to editors:

Phase one of the Flood Alleviation Scheme comprises of the defence works at Woodlesford and in the city centre. The aspiration for the scheme is to also include phase two, which extends the one in 75 scheme upstream towards Kirkstall, and phase three would see the level of protection of the whole scheme raised to a one in 200 year standard of protection. The construction of the additional phases is subject to further funding being secured.


For media enquiries please contact:

Laura Ferris

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 5472

Email: laura.ferris@leeds.gov.uk