First phase of a major flood defence project completed

Caption: The Locks at Woodlesford

The first part of a major £50m flood defence project to help protect the city has been completed.

Phase one of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme has been designed to protect homes and businesses between Leeds Rail Station and downstream to Woodlesford from flooding from the River Aire and Hol Beck.

The first part of this phase is now complete and flood defences are in place at Woodlesford providing residents with protection against a 1 in 200 year flood event from the River Aire.

The works at Woodlesford were completed on time and within the £2million budget. This includes the construction of an embankment, flood walls and storage pond. The Woodlesford defences have in part, been constructed in response to a planning condition placed on the scheme ensuring flood risk is not increased downstream of the city centre.

Phase one continues with the main construction work in the city centre and Holbeck which is due to start later this year and be completed by the end of 2016. This scheme will see the replacement of the existing fixed weirs at Crown Point and Knostrop with moveable weirs that can be lowered in flood conditions to reduce river levels and the threat of river flooding.

The moveable weirs are to be the first installed in the UK although they are tried and tested in other countries.

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 to assist the flow of water to lower water levels in flood conditions. Low level flood defences in the city centre will also be constructed.

Once completed the scheme 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 Hol Beck.

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. The construction of the scheme at Woodlesford was carried out by BAM Nuttall.

Leeds City Council executive member for transport and the economy Councillor Richard Lewis said:“This flood alleviation scheme is a high priority for the city and I’m pleased to see that the defence works in Woodlesford are in place on time and within budget, paving the way for major works starting in the city centre.

“Our aim is to provide the residents and businesses in the area with a level of protection and reassurance they have never had before.”

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 1 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