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Thursday, 17 October

Flood Defences Protect 400 Jobs

Jame Walker's Cockermouth site

James Walker's major manufacturing site at Cockermouth site in Cumbria has seen its flood defence system become fully operational.

The firm’s is one of the region’s largest employers and was left underwater in 2009 and 2015 due to flooding.

More than 400 staff are employed at the site and thanks to Allerdale and Cumbria councils, support from the Environment Agency, and a significant investment through the Local Growth Fund from Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (Cumbria LEP), new £2.6 million-pound defences now protect the site from flooding.

The protection plan includes:

  • A flood wall around the firm's production buildings made from sheet piling.
  • Automated floodgates built-in for the main vehicle access points and pedestrian floodgates at key access points.
  • Two high-volume pumping stations with a capacity to pump over 21,000 litres of water per minute.

James Walker were advised by Cluttons, whose team provided detailed ground water monitoring and flood risk assessment to ensure the risk to the site was accurately determined. The team designed and project managed the installation of flood defence schemes to ensure the buildings and facilities are protected now and in the future.

Ian Paton, head of flood risk at Cluttons, said: “The project was complex with the Cockermouth site having been badly hit by flooding twice. We have provided a complete flood risk consultancy and developed a defence strategy to ensure that the future of the business is safeguarded from flooding.”

Mark Brook, MD at James Walker, said: “The Cluttons’ team were vital to developing effective flood defences which will help safeguard existing jobs and pave the way for growth. We have ambitious development plans which will see in the region of £10 million being invested by the James Walker Group in reinforcing the position of our Cockermouth site as a global centre for the manufacture and development of elastomeric materials and components."

Picture: James Walker's Cockermouth site.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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