The Tidal Barrier is a vital flooding infrastructure project that is being implemented by the Environment Agency in partnership with Somerset Council, with financial support from the Bridgwater Town Deal funding. This significant scheme aims to reduce tidal flood risk for 11,300 homes and 1,500 businesses, unlocking the town’s ambitious plans for the future.
The heart of the project lies in the Tidal Barrier structure that is set to be erected on the River Parrett, adjacent to Express Park. In conjunction with this barrier, an extensive programme of works is planned to enhance existing downstream riverside flood banks and construct new secondary flood banks, providing comprehensive protection. The scheme also includes improved fish and eel passages at 12 upstream sites on both the rivers Parrett and Tone, ensuring the conservation of aquatic life.
The design, delivery and operation of the Bridgwater Tidal Barrier scheme will prioritise minimising carbon emissions throughout the process. As climate change becomes increasingly evident, it is vital to address predicted long-term flood risks to safeguard the community and the environment.
The benefits of the Bridgwater Tidal Barrier scheme extend far beyond flood protection alone, presenting exciting opportunities for the town’s growth and development. With reduced flood risk, businesses can invest confidently in Bridgwater, paving the way for accelerated housing growth and increased employment opportunities. In addition, the scheme’s non-financial benefits will include environmental enhancements, biodiversity improvements and public realm developments, further underscoring the importance of investing in measures to reduce flood risk.
The Environment Agency, acting as the technical lead for this project, will own and operate the scheme upon completion, with Somerset Council as a project partner, ensuring wider public benefit and future growth opportunities within Bridgwater.
With flood risk significantly reduced, Bridgwater can thrive and flourish in a secure future that embraces sustainability, fosters economic growth, and protects the town and its people.