The Environment Agency is to receive £1.8 billion to improve flood defences.

The Agency will be responsible for allocating it to operating authorities – such as local authorities – and will be responsible for overseeing programmes to ensure tougher targets are met for new and improved defences and projects.The move will help protect more households and important wildlife sites from the risks of flooding. The money is part of the government’s total flood and coastal erosion spend of £2.15 billion over the next three years.The Environment Agency will use £788 million to fund the operating costs of its flood risk management service, which includes the routine maintenance of defences and the flood warning service.Spending will rise from £600 million, to £650m in 2008/9, £700m in 2009/10 and £800m in 2010/11.

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