TENBURY is within touching distance of being in a position to go ahead with a long awaited flood defence scheme.

After the Government agreed to commit nearly £5million to the project the local enterprise partnership has said that it is prepared to put in a further £500,000.

This takes the total tantalisingly close to the £6million price tag that has been put on the scheme.

However, after waiting almost a decade the town could be timed out.

This was the message from Ken Pollock, who represents Tenbury on Worcestershire County Council.

Mr Pollock who holds an economic development portfolio on Worcestershire County Council was updating the Town Council on progress.

“I trust that you will all have heard about the award of £4.895 million towards the construction of a flood barrier scheme in Tenbury,” he said.

“This is part of the massive amount of money allocated to seek to solve flooding problems across the country, including an additional amount of up to £30 million in the Severn Valley, to overcome the periodic flooding in the river basin.

In Tenbury Wells and the Severn Valley, two flood schemes will protect nearly 3,000 homes in areas which were badly affected by last winter’s floods, and protecting and creating more than 22,000 jobs along the Severn Valley.“

There is a requirement for some local funding, and the Worcestershire LEP has been able to allocate £0.5 million to fill the gap, this being the maximum the Environment Agency will allow, amounting to 10 per cent of their commitment.”

But there is a potential snag that could scupper hopes.

“The jobs must be regarded as ‘shovel ready’ meaning they must be able to start soon, and in consequence that the work must be completed by the end of the next financial year,” added Mr Pollock.

“Those of you who have studied the plans will know that there may need to be some revision or improvement to make them satisfactory, but in general, this is a very welcome announcement.”

Mr Pollock said that Tony Miller from Worcestershire County Council had already been in discussion with the Environment Agency.

“Time is of the essence and it was the impression of Tony Miller and I that the Environment Agency had not recognised the need to move swiftly,” added Mr Pollock.

“I hope we can all work together to see that an effective and acceptable scheme is undertaken as soon as possible.”