New flood defence schemes approved
Almost 100 new flood defences have been given the green light in a move the Government says will better protect more than 64,000 homes from flooding.
A total of 93 defences have been given the go-ahead to begin construction this year.
The Government said £294 million was being invested in flood risk management in 2013.
In total 165,000 homes are expected to be better protected by 2015 after investment in flood defences, the Environment Department said.
As part of the spending, the Government has provided additional funding for projects it is hoped will unlock economic growth, including defences in Exeter which it says will create 1,000 jobs and protect businesses employing 4,700 people.
The scheme will protect land for business development and defend infrastructure and 2,000 homes, Defra said.
The announcement comes as Labour hosts a flood summit to urge the Government to take action to agree a new deal with insurers to make sure at-risk homes and businesses continue to get flood insurance.
The Association of British Insurers is calling on politicians to back a rigorous planning system and sufficient flood defence spending and work with insurers to tackle the growing risk of flooding in the UK.
Making the announcement on new defences, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: "The 93 schemes given the green light today will bring huge relief to tens of thousands of homes and businesses that have lived with the fear of flood waters hitting their doors.
"They can get on with their daily lives and work knowing that there are well-built defences. This is also a message to the business community. By building defences that will unlock the economic potential of once blighted land we are saying to them that it is safe to come and set up."