Innovative flood defence engineering on show at Leeds Waterfront Festival

21st June 2017

Visitors to this year’s Leeds Waterfront Festival will get the chance to see the innovative technology being used to reduce the risk of flooding to the city.


The Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme project team will be on hand at the event on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June, to explain what work has been done for phase 1 of the scheme in the city centre.


A model of a moveable weir will be demonstrated at the event, which is a replica of those installed in the River Aire at Crown Point next to Knightsway Bridge. The moveable weirs used for the project can be lowered in flood conditions to reduce river levels and the threat of flooding.


The Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme team will be hosting a stand at Armouries Way, Leeds, LS10 1JP (next to Leeds Dock) between the hours of 10am to 4pm, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June.


The first phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme, led by Leeds City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency, aims to reduce the risk of flooding from the River Aire and Hol Beck for residents and businesses in the city centre. The scheme also includes flood risk reduction at Woodlesford.


Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:


This year’s Leeds Waterfront Festival promises to be a great event for people of all ages. With the first phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme nearly finished, visitors to the festival will be able to get a unique insight into the technology involved through the virtual reality experience and the moveable weir to see how the system works to reduce the risk of flooding in the city centre. It is a simple but very clever approach and we look forward to seeing lots of people taking the chance to find out more about it as they enjoy the festival.


Rosa Foster, Strategic Partnerships & Projects Manager at the Environment Agency said:


This event is a great opportunity to demonstrate the moveable weirs before our work in the city centre comes to completion. This is the first time that moveable weirs are being used in the UK for a flood risk reduction scheme and we’re excited to show everyone at this year’s festival what’s been achieved.


Visitors to the event will also get the chance to try out the virtual reality area, and wear headsets to view 360 degree footage from the construction phase of the project and see what it’s like to work inside a cofferdam in the river. A cofferdam is a dry working area created in the river by driving in sheet piling. The last cofferdam is now in place while the final moveable weir is constructed.

The event will also see the launch of the ‘Cones on the Waterfront’ children’s book written by Chris Madeley, a waterfront safety book following a group of cones characters as they navigate potential waterway hazards. The story includes waterway construction areas, and was written based on the work of the flood risk reduction scheme being built in Leeds.


Copies of the book, sponsored by Leeds Scheme contractors BAM Nuttall, will be available in exchange for a charitable donation for the Leeds Children’s Charity. The author will also be there to sign copies of the book. There will also be live performances throughout the weekend event to explain the story behind the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.


The site works for Phase 1 of the Leeds Flood Alleviation scheme commenced in January 2015 and are scheduled to be completed this coming September. It is one of the largest river flood risk reduction schemes in the country which when complete will provide an increased level of protection from flooding from the River Aire and Hol Beck for residents and businesses in the city centre. The scheme also includes defences at Woodlesford.


The project team is currently working on options for Phase 2 of the scheme, which will adopt a catchment-wide approach meaning the entire River Aire catchment area will be considered to help reduce flood risk in Leeds.


Consultation on potential options is due to be carried out from September.

Back to News
Go A-Z of Products
Go A-Z of Suppliers