Minister Mallon signs off on £17 million flood alleviation scheme in Belfast

Date published: 07 September 2021

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon today signed contract documents awarding the design and construction phase of the £17 million Belfast Tidal Flood Alleviation Scheme to Lagan Construction Ltd.

The project involves the detailed design and construction of over five miles (approximately 8.5km) of flood defences and aims to provide a long term approach to tidal flood risk management in the city. It is anticipated that the completion of the detailed design will take approximately four months with the works commencing on site shortly after.

The scheme has been planned and developed by the Department with the assistance of Consulting Engineers Atkins. Atkins will continue on behalf of the Department as the Project Manager to oversee the successful delivery by Lagan Construction Ltd.

Infrastructure Minister Mallon said:

“I am pleased to announce that Lagan Construction Limited has been awarded the contract for the Belfast Tidal Flood Alleviation Scheme. This is a key step forward in the delivery of this £17million scheme which is designed to reduce tidal flood risk to over 1,500 homes and businesses in the City. I hope this will reassure residents and businesses within the city centre, particularly those concerned about the effects of sea level rise caused by climate change.

“I committed during my time as Minister to taking action to protect homes and businesses from flooding and I have followed through on this commitment by allocating £19 million in funding for flood alleviation schemes across the North in my 2021/22 budget, an increase of £11 million from last year. The commencement of this £17million scheme in Belfast is part of this and I look forward to seeing more schemes like this getting off the ground across the North that will make a real difference to people’s lives.

“The Belfast Tidal Flood Alleviation Scheme has not only been designed to integrate with the surrounding landscapes and streetscapes but also takes into account the latest projections on climate change. The scheme extends to over 8.5km along the tidal River Lagan covering the area from Belfast Harbour to Stranmillis Weir. This scheme will provide a long term approach to tidal flood risk management for Belfast and has been designed to allow future adaption to mitigate against potential sea level rises.

“This critical infrastructure will help protect a thriving City for this generation and the next, a City where people want to live, work, visit and invest.”

The works will be programmed to minimise any inconvenience to the public, however, road and towpath users should take care in the vicinity of the works and be aware of emerging construction traffic. Pedestrian and cycle access with be maintained at all times with alternative routes provided.

The detailed design and construction stages are estimated to take at least 18 months to complete and it is expected that works will commence on site in early 2022. All work will be carried out in line with current health and safety regulations, with safe systems of working in place for staff and contractors.

The Belfast Tidal Scheme forms part of the Living Water Programme. Further information about the Belfast Tidal Scheme is available here: 

Notes to editors: 

  1. The principal aim of the scheme is to protect against existing tidal flood risk and to mitigate against future sea level rise caused by climate change for Belfast Harbour and the tidal influence of the River Lagan which extends to Stranmillis Weir.
  2. To take account of climate change, the scheme is being designed to provide a high level of protection up to the mid-2080s with adaptability to the 2120s. This ensures the scheme is future proofed while allowing for the provision of additional protection based on the refinement of sea level rise predictions in the future.
  3. The proposed defences are 8.5 kilometres long and approximately one metre high.
  4. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at:
  5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  6. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on                Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure

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