Cluttons advises James Walker on flood defences to help safeguard 400 jobs

OXFORD, 23 July 2019, Cluttons, the property consultancy, has designed and provided project management services for major manufacturing site flood defences to firm James Walker which were officially unveiled yesterday.

The firm’s Cockermouth site in Cumbria is one of the region’s largest employers and was left underwater in 2009 and 2015 due to flooding. More than 400 staff are employed at the site and thanks to Allerdale and Cumbria councils, support from the Environment Agency, and a significant investment through the Local Growth Fund from Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (Cumbria LEP), new £2.6 million-pound defences now protect the site from flooding and the firm hopes to expand and create new jobs. The protection plan includes:

  • A flood wall around the firm's production buildings made from sheet piling.
  • Automated floodgates built-in for the main vehicle access points and pedestrian floodgates at key access points.
  • Two high-volume pumping stations with a capacity to pump over 21,000 litres of water per minute.

The Cluttons’ team led by Ian Paton, which has extensive experience in flood risk consultancy, provided detailed ground water monitoring and flood risk assessment to ensure the risk to the site was accurately determined. The team designed and project managed the installation of flood defence schemes to ensure the buildings and facilities are protected now and in the future.

Ian Paton, head of flood risk at Cluttons, said: “The project was complex with the Cockermouth site having been badly hit by flooding twice. We have provided a complete flood risk consultancy and developed a defence strategy to ensure that the future of the business is safeguarded from flooding.”

Mark Brook, Manufacturing Director at James Walker, commented. “The Cluttons’ team were vital to developing effective flood defences which will help safeguard existing jobs and pave the way for growth. We have ambitious development plans which will see in the region of £10m being invested by the James Walker Group in reinforcing the position of our Cockermouth site as a global centre of excellence for the manufacture and development of elastomeric materials and components."

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