Falmouth has been given a half a million pound windfall to tackle town centre flooding.

In an announcement this morning, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the money will be used to protect shops and homes, and help the town grow.

The flood scheme will centre around the Prince of Wales Pier area, where less than two weeks ago sewage was seen floating in the water.

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A Defra spokesperson said: "Frequent heavy rainfall causes surface water to cascade down to the Prince of Wales Pier area.

"We will construct systems to drain that water into the sea, better protecting shops and residential premises.

"The scheme will enable further investment by businesses and the local authority safe in the knowledge that flood risk has been reduced."

It went on to add: "The flood scheme will reduce risks associated with surface water flooding and will allow further growth in a town centre waterfront location."

The town has a long history of flooding in this area, going back years.

In 2016 a "three foot river" flowed down Killigrew Street and flooded Market Strand and Prince of Wales Pier.

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Six years earlier there had more flash flooding around the Prince of Wales Pier, as torrential rain hit the town.

Coastguards were called into action to cordon off parts of Falmouth as the rain caused drains to burst and some roads to flood.

Falmouth Packet:

A manhole creates a whirlpool during flooding in 2013

The money is part of multi-billion pound measures that the Government describes as "the most comprehensive in a decade", which it hopes will ultimately see 336,000 properties in England better protected from flooding by 2027.

As part of this a new £170 million funding pot has been announced for 22 new “shovel-ready” flood defence projects - in other words, ready to get underway quickly - to start in 2020 and 2021, which include Falmouth.

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Truro and Falmouth MP Cherilyn Mackrory said she was "absolutely delighted" at the news, adding: "This scheme has been judged to have strong local economic benefits and goes towards the Government’s goal of nationally better protecting more than 10,000 local businesses and safeguarding around 100,000 jobs.

“I look forward to working with partners to draw this money down and see these defences put in place for the good of Falmouth as soon as possible.”

Bude is the only other location in Cornwall to receive money, winning up to £2.1 million to enhance the existing river and coastal defences, with an improved wall and embankments and a natural “green buffer” at the front of the defence.

The aim is to provide better protection from flooding to the town's fire station and GP surgery, and support its tourist industry.

Environment Secretary George Eustice, who is MP for Camborne and Redruth, said of the national scheme: “The devastating impacts of last winter’s flooding were an important reminder of the need to continue to invest and accelerate action to reduce the impact of flooding on our communities.

“Our record investment and ambitious policies will better protect homes, schools, hospitals and businesses, but we also recognise that we cannot prevent flooding entirely, which is why we will ensure that communities at high risk are more resilient.

Falmouth Packet:

Bailing out the Prince of Wales Pub in 2013

“Working closely with the Environment Agency, local authorities, business and the third sector we will create a better protected and prepared nation.”

The Government's overall flood scheme announced today is worth 5.2 billion, creating around 2,000 new flood and coastal defences.

The plans also include £200 million for projects such as sustainable drainage systems and nature-based solutions, such as temporary or permanent water storage areas that also boost wildlife, in 25 areas at risk of flooding.

The announcements come ahead of the publication of the Environment Agency’s long-term Flood and Coast Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England, which will be published later today and sets out how the EA will work with communities to deliver the government’s plan.

Chair Emma Howard Boyd said: “For every £1 spent improving protection from flooding and coastal erosion, we avoid around £5 of property damages.

"The long-term commitments announced today will make homes, businesses and infrastructure more resilient to the accelerating impacts of the climate crisis."