Final preparations are being made to deliver the £18 million plan for a comprehensive flood protection scheme for the Upper Garnock Valley, of which 80%, £14.4 million, will be funded by the SNP Government.
North Ayrshire Council will fund the remaining £3.6 million.
The main construction contract has been awarded to McLaughlin and Harvey, with work currently scheduled to get under way in late summer.
It is expected that work will be completed in spring 2022.
The Upper Garnock Valley Flood Protection Scheme aims to reduce the flood risk to properties in Kilbirnie, Glengarnock and Dalry from the River Garnock, Powgree Burn and Rye Water.
The area has a history of local flood events, most notably the significant Kilbirnie flooding event in 2008.
Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP said:
“Supporting major capital works such as the Upper Garnock Valley Flood Protection Scheme is tangible evidence of the SNP Government’s commitment to climate change adaptation, and to driving Scotland’s green recovery from the pandemic.
“We all know that flooding can have a devastating impact on homes, business and communities which is why I am pleased that progress is being made on the Upper Garnock Valley scheme, with a contractor now chosen to deliver it.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“This has been a long-time in preparation, with public meetings exhibitions and numerous potential plans considered over the years to ensure we get this right. I therefore delighted that we now have a concrete start date. The tendering process of course had to be conducted properly, and this takes time.
“The SNP Government has long since been ready to fund 80% of the Upper Garnock Flood Protection Scheme and I am pleased that this has enabled a scheme to make the Garnock Valley safer for residents and properties alike.
“I also welcome McLaughlin and Harvey’s commitment to create 10 full-time equivalent new employment opportunities – including apprenticeships – and to work with local companies and third sector organisations to maximise any sub-contractor opportunities, amongst other commitments.”
The flood protection scheme will consist of an embankment constructed to form a storage reservoir just north of Kilbirnie which will retain water and reduce downstream flow in the River Garnock.
Day-to-day flows will not be affected, and the storage area will normally be dry and will only fill during periods of peak water flow.
The embankment will be supplemented by direct flood defences to provide further flood protection to properties at the Paddockholm Industrial Estate and surrounding area in Kilbirnie, properties in the vicinity of the Powgree Burn in Glengarnock and the Mill Park estate in Dalry as well as mitigation measures to the DSM plant and the railway embankment.