A new scheme wants homes and businesses in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to become more resilient to flooding.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey confirmed on Monday (22 July 2019) that £487,200 would go to the new South West Partnership's Pathfinder project to create a demonstration hub and web portal to encourage residents and businesses to adopt measures like flood doors, hard floors and electrics raised off ground level.

The partnership is led by Cornwall Council. Rob Nolan, cabinet member for the environment and public protection, said: “We are pleased to be working with the Environment Agency and lead local flood authorities from the South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee on this innovative new project.

“The Pathfinder – Property Flood Resilience project will enable us to create a foundation for change for residents and businesses across the region to improve their flood resilience.

“We will be supporting the existing community networks Cornwall Community Flood Forum and Devon Community Resilience Forum who, in turn, will be working with communities to demonstrate the benefits of being proactive in protecting homes and businesses from flooding.

“We look forward to sharing our expertise on flood resilience to bring positive benefits to communities across the South West.”

The projects will be delivered with support from the Environment Agency and representatives of the insurance and construction industries. The Environment Agency will also monitor the projects to highlight successes and identify lessons that can be used to foster greater use of property flood resilience measures elsewhere across the country.

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said: “This new funding is a welcome step forwards for our efforts to boost the uptake of property-level resilience measures in homes and businesses across the country. The Environment Agency will work closely with the local authorities and organisations taking forward the Pathfinder projects to support their work and share lessons learnt.

“Our experience shows that making these small changes in the home can make a huge difference to people’s lives when flooding takes place.”