Resilient Glenderamackin (RG)
Nature-based protection for people, property & wildlife
Flooding is a serious problem in Keswick, and with climate change, it’s predicted to get worse. We’re also facing a biodiversity crisis.
We want to support our communities to manage flood risk. Nature often has the answers to man-made problems. We are taking a nature-based solutions approach to reducing downstream flood risk by delivering a whole host of interventions including river restoration, planting trees and restoring wetlands. These will be delivered AT SCALE with an ambitious multi-million pound whole catchment-scale programme of works to make a significant difference to the core issues.
We are looking at using a blended finance approach (i.e. combination of public and private sector funding) to achieve our vision. This blended finance approach is increasingly being favoured by UK Government for nature restoration projects such as tree planting, peat restoration and through the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) Landscape Recovery schemes. This project is a nationally important pilot and an opportunity to show how working together can really make a difference, not just for flooding but to address the biodiversity crisis we are in, whilst supporting the local farming community.
You can find out more information here: https://westcumbriariverstrust.org/projects/glenderamackin
How can local businesses get involved?
The Resilient Glenderamackin project is one of the biggest blended finance projects being worked up in England. There is significant national interest in this project from government and others. It is also a direct scale up of the Wyre natural flood management project in North Lancashire – a project developed by the Rivers Trust using a blended finance approach and now 18 months in and operating successfully.
The capital delivery will cost around £10M.Some of this will come from existing government grants, such as national woodland planting grants. Because of the rural nature of the catchment, a significant proportion of the funding is proposed to come from government sources, such as agri-environment schemes and flood funding. Other potential buyers include National Highways (again a government source but a different department), the insurance/reinsurance sector (who are interested in this a pilot) and United Utilities (private sector). Because this project is specifically designed to address local issues, and benefit local businesses and residents, the other larger stakeholders expect us to work with a consortium of local businesses.
Frequently asked questions
What’s in it for a local business?- This project could help local businesses deliver their corporate environment and sustainability and/or social and community strategies as well as reducing long-term flood risk and future insurance costs for their business and/or customers. There are also opportunities through this project for companies to offset their water usage through ‘Replenish’ - a water stewardship metric. This is a high profile national pilot and any support would be prominently recognised in project communications.
Why would local businesses pay towards reduced flood risk – Further investment in Keswick’s ‘hard’ flood defences does not hit the strict criteria set for national flood risk funding. Unless the funding formula changes, Keswick will not see any further investment in ‘hard’ flood defences anytime soon. At the same time climate change is increasing peak river flows – the north-west is predicted to be one of the areas impacted worst by increased flows, and the flood defences are already operating at a considerably lower standard of protection than that for which they were originally designed. This could impact flood insurance for local businesses as well as increased frequency and levels of flooding. This project is the opportunity for everyone to come together – locally and nationally, to really make a difference, not just for flooding but to address the biodiversity crisis we are in, whilst supporting the local farming community.
Are there any Biodiversity Net Gain or Carbon Credit opportunities for my business? We are looking into how Biodiversity Net Gain and/or Carbon Credits could work with or alongside this project. They cannot be ‘stacked’ with other benefits and are effectively ‘owned’ directly by the landowner. It is likely that we won’t be able to offer BNG units or Carbon credits in return for a contribution towards this project. We await further government guidance to inform our thinking on this
What would happen to my money if we donated towards this, but you didn’t succeed in securing enough funding to deliver the full project (i.e. unable to fully realise the flood risk benefits)? At the moment we are looking to raise the profile of this project amongst local businesses and residents with a view to having more detailed conversations about how you could get involved.
The project has a detailed business plan. The project will only go ahead if we get all of the required funding together from buyers and investors as well as sufficient landowner commitments. Therefore, any commitments from local businesses will only be drawn upon when required. However we will likely draw up a Memorandum of Understanding to confirm interest and demonstrate commitment to any potential investors.
As a local business, what sort of commitment are you looking for from me towards this project? The project team are aiming to encourage local businesses to agree to join a local business consortium which will make an annual payment to help fund the project and maintain it in the catchment. This will be a 10 year commitment at an annual amount agreed with you and you will only make payments if the NFM interventions are in the ground and being properly maintained by landowners – this will be audited annually. We expect the local business consortium to make up approximately 10% of the total annual funding required by the project – with 90% coming from larger public and private sector organisations. A meaningful local contribution is crucial in engaging these other parties however. We are open to flexibility and could take a one off donation if this suited a local business better.
How are you going to deliver this project and what is the likelihood of success? The project will be delivered through a Community Interest Company limited by guarantee (i.e. it has no share capital or ownership). The CIC will have a board of directors representing all stakeholders e.g. landowners, local community, Rivers Trust, local business, local authority etc and and profits will be reinvested into its long term objectives which is to ensure catchment resilience. We are basing this model on an earlier successful pilot developed by the Rivers Trust movement – the Wyre NFM project in the Forest of Bowland, North Lancashire. We have a good deal of momentum now with the project having engaged farmers and landowners, undertaken hydrological modelling, business planning, financial modelling and interest from some of the larger buyers. This is a Defra funded pilot with a high profile and so we have government support as well. A meaningful local business contribution is an important signal of support and commitment however – so it’s important we can show other stakeholders that those who stand to benefit directly are also contributing.
Contact us for an initial chat with the Resilient Glenderamackin project team. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 017687 75429.