RICHMOND MP and chancellor Rishi Sunak visited Hambleton on Friday, July 31, to learn more about a town’s £3.7 million scheme to protect houses against flooding.

Stokesley’s Flood Alleviation Scheme is expected to improve protections of 509 properties and provide £46 million of economic benefits over the next 50 years.

The Environment Agency showed Mr Sunak around areas that will benefit.

He said: “Stokesley’s 1970s-built flood defences have served the town well over the years but this scheme will improve their effectiveness to maintain the level of protection they give residents. These improvements should provide protection for another 50 years.

“The project will also have the additional benefit of helping to manage the flow of the River Leven through Stokesley creating a better habitat for wildlife.”

Jamie Fletcher, the Environment Agency's area operations manager for the North-East reiterated Mr Sunak's sentiment, saying the scheme demonstrates the agency's level of investment, development and commitment to Stokesley.

He added:“The defence will be a vital asset for the local people, businesses and the environment around Stokesley - helping to protect them from the devastating effects of flooding.”

Earlier this month, the government unveiled its long-term plan to tackle the risks of flooding and coastal erosion, ensuring 336,000 properties in England are better protected from flooding by 2027 with a record £5.2 billion investment.