I am delighted to announce that the Authority has been successful in its bid for £82,000 from Defra for repairs following the December floods.
The full bid was awarded, £80,000 of which will fund the replacement of the electrical and hydraulic system at Mutford Lock, which was irreparably damaged during the tidal surge, and £2,000 will pay for various repairs at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station.
The Authority had already committed the money for the necessary work but, as the costs will now be covered in full by the additional National Park funding from Defra, £80,000 can go back into the Mutford Lock reserve account and £2,000 will fund improved flood resilience at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station.
As part of the Defra announcement Environment Minister Lord de Mauley said: “The Broads are the jewel in the crown of our precious natural environment – this investment will ensure they remain so. Given each pound spent by National Parks on recreation provides £4 of wider benefit, it is essential to get our Parks back to the highest standards ahead of the busy tourism period.”
I can also report on the progress at Mutford Lock, which facilitates more than 1,000 boat passages a year. It is currently operating on a limited, manual basis but full repairs are expected to be completed by the end of May. Full details of progress so far are that:
- The hydraulic and electric components and steel housing units are being fabricated offsite and are close to completion. Once complete these will be assembled ready for on-site installation
- The old hydraulic system has been disconnected
- With the assistance of divers most of the duct and cabling crossing the lock chamber has been removed and a new duct is being fabricated. The remaining section of duct is in the trench and will be removed and the trench cleared when the new duct is ready to be installed.
- The divers will return to clear the duct trench and will also clear a very significant built up of mussels from the lock gates close by.
- Two of the gate winding mechanisms (which have remained stiff since the surge) will be stripped, checked and repaired/greased as necessary.
- The main aspect of the new control system installation will take place next month (May) with completion before the end of the May.
We will keep you updated of any more progress as it happens.