A new pumping station, which will reduce flood risk to residents and businesses on the south side of the river has been officially opened.

This ‘King’s Ditch’ pumping station was delivered in partnership with Bedford Borough Council, the Bedfordshire and River Ivel Drainage Board, Anglian Water, the Environment Agency and Bedford Girls School.

This pumping station was identified as the best solution to reduce flood risk in this area after several flooding incidents since 1998, situated on the banks of the river at Bedford Girls School on Cardington Road.

This station complements the existing Environment Agency flood barrier on the river. It is a fully automatic system and improves on the previous manual pumping solution, with each pump able to discharge 300 litres of water per second.

Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson said: “It was a real pleasure to open this new pumping station on the banks of the river. We all saw the devastation that flooding can wreak over Christmas 2020, and it is great to have another piece of equipment in place to improve our flood resilience locally. A huge thank you must go to all contributors who have helped bring this project to completion.”

Cllr Doug McMurdo, chair of the Bedfordshire and River Ivel Drainage Board said: “A lot of work went into designing and installing this pumping station. It’s great news that it is now in place and in operation on the River Great Ouse, and many properties and businesses in the Kingsbrook catchment are now better protected and at a reduced risk of flooding.”

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