A ground breaking ceremony was held on held on Friday to mark the official start on site of the Environment Agency scheme, which was awarded as a design-build contract to a joint venture of Galliford Try and Black & Veatch last year.
The £30m project will reduce flood risk for 4,500 homes and 1,000 businesses currently facing possible flooding from the River Trent, including.
The event was attended by Environment Agency Chief Executive Sir James Bevan, Andrew Griffiths the MP for Burton & Uttoxeter, project partners and community representatives.
The upcoming works will see improvements to parts of the 9km of existing flood walls and embankments. This will include creating deeper foundations and other adjustments, which together, will provide an ongoing level of protection to the surrounding area.
This investment is also intended to support the economic growth of the town by reducing flood risk to 394km² of commercial land that sits behind the defence.
The Environment Agency is also working with East Staffordshire Borough Council and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust on improvements for visitors and the environment within the Washlands, the large area of floodplain between the river and the town.
Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said: “Today marks an exciting day for Burton. This £30 million project will not only reduce flood risk to over 5,500 homes and businesses but will also boost the local economy by protecting thousands of jobs for decades to come.
“This project will also benefit local wildlife through the creation of new wetland areas and ponds, and a better space for local people through upgraded lighting along the boardwalks and a new children’s play area.
“We’ve all seen the devastating impact flooding can have on communities in recent weeks and that’s why we are continuing to invest £2.6 billion to better protect homes across the country.”
The project is due to complete by spring 2021.