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A NEW project supporting communities in more than 6,000 homes to prepare for flooding has been launched on Teesside.

The Northumbria Regional Flood and Coastal Committee approved local funding for the Community Resilience Project, which will run for three years until March 2017.

The scheme will cover Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and the Redcar and Cleveland council area and will involve offering advice and support and developing emergency plans.

Mel Sturgeon the Community Flood Engagement Officer said: "The project aims to work with existing groups to spread the message that whether you are a resident or a local business there are a number of simple things that can be done to reduce the impact of flooding.”

Environment Agency figures indicate there are more than 6,000 properties at risk of flooding in Cleveland.

Businesses, schools, community and care groups as voluntary organisations will be contacted in flood risk areas.

Ms Sturgeon added: "The support from business and communities so far has been fantastic for example a number of landlords now issue flood information to all new tenants.”

An emergency plan template can be found at www.clevelandemergencyplanning.info. Contact melanie.sturgeon@hartlepool.gov.uk or 01642-232442 to find out more.