CHARD and Ilminster are to receive a total of almost £150,000 from the Government to improve flood protection in the area.

Floods Minister Rebecca Pow - the MP for Taunton Deane - announced yesterday (Wednesday, April 5) that the cash would be shared by the Chard Flood Alleviation Scheme and the Ilminster Flood Alleviation Study.

They are among 53 areas in England that have suffered repeated flooding that are to be given grants totalling more than £26million from the Frequently Flooded Allowance scheme.

South Somerset MP Marcus Fysh has welcomed the new Government support to help prevent flooding in both Chard and Ilminster.

He said: “This is great news for Chard and Ilminster.

"I’ve been lobbying the Government for a long time to support these areas and we now need to make sure this makes a real difference for the families and businesses affected in the past.

"I hope the council will also support measures and make sure flooding is considered during planning applications.”

The allowance target communities where 10 or more properties have flooded twice or more in the past decade.

Ms Pow said: "We know only too well the devastating impact that flooding can have on communities and businesses as we face more extreme weather brought about by climate change.

"I am determined that we do whatever we can to prevent flooding that affects so many towns and villages across the country.

"This much-needed funding will go a long way to support those whose homes and livelihoods are repeatedly threatened by flooding and forms a key part of our record £5.2billion investment by 2027 to protect communities in England better."

Caroline Douglass, executive director for flood and coastal risk management at the Environment Agency, said: "Increased flooding is just one of the impacts of climate change we are seeing in the UK and around the world.

"Protecting people and communities is our top priority as we look to tackle this challenge.

"The funding will help better protect homes and businesses at risk from repeated flood incidents across the country.

"The Environment Agency’s strong track record in delivering flood defence schemes means we have better protected 374,000 homes since 2015.

"Projects will improve resilience through a mixture of hard engineering flood defences and natural flood management measures.

"The allowance also supports the installation of property flood resilience measures such as flood doors and barriers, meaning more homes will be better protected in communities where traditional defence schemes are not always viable."