Plans to install flood defences in the Lower Don Valley are a step closer after businesses gave their backing to the scheme.
An 82 per cent majority of local companies have voted in favour of the £8.1million pound project, in which 40 ‘interventions’ will be built on an eight-kilometre stretch of the River Don.
By voting yes in the ballot, employers have agreed to contribute a total of £1.4million towards defences through a Business Improvement District.
The payment each firm makes will be based on their rateable value for a fixed period of five years. It is hoped the defence system will decrease insurance costs, which rocketed after the area suffered severe flooding in 2000 and 2007.
Richard Wright, executive director for Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is excellent news.
“The BID vote was an important decision for businesses to make and we are pleased they have seen the value of investing in the scheme.
“We realise it has been a tough period for companies, so we very much appreciate this long-term commitment businesses are showing to improving the Lower Don Valley area.
“It’s a significant development to improving a key economic location in the Sheffield City Region.”
The project aims to improve current standards of flood protection from Nursery Street in the city centre to Blackburn Brook near the M1.
Just over £5million of funding has been awarded from the Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs and an application for further funding has been submitted to the Environment Agency.
The chamber hopes to start construction work immediately with a view to completing the project by 2015.
Coun Jack Scott, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “This will enable us to provide the protection businesses need to develop in future.”