Hundreds of projects win funding to improve water quality

Hundreds of projects have been awarded a share of an £11.5 million funding pot to improve water quality.

The projects are run by a mix of local authorities, landowners, local NGOs, farmers, local businesses and water companies.

The types of schemes awarded funding include tree planting, habitat restoration and flood management.

In total, 180 projects have been backed as part of the government’s Water Environment Improvement Fund.

The funding will also unlock up to an extra £11.5 million from organisations including the National Lottery, local rivers and wildlife trusts or from private investment, bringing the total possible investment to £23 million.

Water minister Robbie Moore said: “These local catchment partnerships do excellent work and I am pleased that we are able to give this additional funding to help deliver projects where rivers need it most.

“It builds on recent measures to clean up our rivers including consulting on a ban on water company bonuses, launching a new Water Restoration Fund to reinvest water company fines and penalties back into the water environment, and a fourfold increase in Environment Agency inspections.”

The designated projects are expected to lead to an additional 300km of English rivers being protected and improved. It will also support the creation and restoration of around 160 hectares of inland and coastal waters.

Chief executive of The Rivers Trust Mark Lloyd said: “Increased funding is a very important ingredient in the recipe for successfully restoring our rivers to good health and so this is welcome news.

“We are increasingly seeing the private and philanthropic sectors getting involved to match this kind of funding which enables this government support to go even further, enabling us to have a greater positive impact in more places.”