Balfour wins £97m coastal flood-defence works

Balfour Beatty has won a £97m contract to provide coastal defences to communities in Wales.

The contractor is set to deliver two coastal defence schemes on behalf of Denbighshire County Council. The schemes have been awarded through the Scape civil engineering framework.

The Central Rhyl Coastal Defence Scheme will see Balfour Beatty replace more than 600 metres of the original sea walls with a rock-armour defence, while the Central Prestatyn Coastal Defence scheme will involve the creation of a coastal erosion embankment spanning 1,600 metres.

The two schemes, which are valued at about £69m and £28m respectively, will seek to protect more than 2,500 local homes and businesses in Denbighshire from flooding and coastal erosion, while safeguarding the tourism economy.

Balfour Beatty will create new habitats for several protected species by providing new scrubland for badgers and other small animals. The firm will also spread a diverse seeding mix of grasses and wildflowers across the coastal embankment to encourage foraging birds.

According to the contractor, 40 per cent of the workforce on the two projects will be made up of people from the local area. At peak construction, the schemes will employ a workforce of 120, including 22 apprenticeship, graduate and trainee positions.

Peter Mumford, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s UK regional civils business, said: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with Denbighshire County Council following the successful completion of the East Rhyl Coastal Defence Scheme last year.

“As the climate continues to change at pace, we will draw on our extensive experience and expertise to deliver these schemes to the highest standard and protect local communities in the area.”

Denbighshire councillor Barry Mellor said: “Living on the East Ward of Rhyl, where we had the devastating floods in 2015, it is pleasing to stop and talk to residents who are so grateful to both Denbighshire County Council and the Welsh Government and, of course, Balfour Beatty, as they say they can now sleep peacefully at night with the flooding worries taken away.”

Work on each project is due to commence later this month, with completion of the Rhyl scheme expected in 2025 and Prestatyn finishing the following year.

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