Construction has started on flood defences along the River Don to reduce the risk of Rotherham town centre flooding.

The work will install a canal barrier opposite Forge Island, Rotherham, which will work alongside the existing flood wall on the River Don. 

The Council say the barrier will look ‘aesthetic’ and will be well-placed alongside Forge Islands leisure development. 

Crew at the worksite on the River Don           Credit: Rotherham Council

Since June 2007 the Council has invested over £17m delivering flood defence schemes along the River Don.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Dominic Beck, said: “The threat of flooding causes a great deal of stress and upset to both residents and local businesses, as well as potentially causing havoc to the transport infrastructure. 

“We saw with the flooding of 2007 and 2019 the amount of devastation it can cause, having lasting effects for years to come.

“We are committed to preventing a repeat of the flooding we’ve seen in recent years and the installation of the canal barrier will help protect our vital town centre business and Central Train Station.”

The construction received approval from the Canal and River Trust and the Environment Agency to ensure Rotherham Council was not going to be wasteful or harmful to the environment.

Sean McGinley, director at the Canal and River Trust Yorkshire and North East, said: “We are delighted to be working with Rotherham Council on this project to protect the town from flooding.

“As a charity, we are always willing to work with partners to improve the infrastructure of our waterways, and we are pleased to have liaised closely with the Council during the concept and design of this project.”

The work is due to be completed next summer.