£3.6m received for innovative 'Adaptive Scilly' climate change project



[UPDATE - 17 May 2021: this project has been renamed Climate Adaptation Scilly]

The Council is delighted to announce that Adaptive Scilly is all go. This innovative project will tackle coastal flooding, coastal erosion and other climate risks. The European Regional Development Fund is providing £2.2 million and a further £1.4 million will come from the Environment Agency. The project will reduce climate risks across the islands for the next 25 years.

Climate change affects the Isles of Scilly proportionally more than any other English district. Defences against coastal flooding will include new demountable seawalls at Old Town and Hugh Town on St Mary's. Dunes will be re-nourished with new sand and re-planted to help protect against both erosion and coastal flooding on St Mary's, St Agnes, Bryher and St Martin's. In addition, rainwater storage will be installed on St Mary’s, St Martin’s, Bryher and St Agnes.

The project's outcomes will include:

  • Reduced flood risk for over 80 businesses and over 90 homes
  • Improving and protecting 45 hectares of designated habitat
  • Sustaining, securing & increasing freshwater supplies
  • Sensitively restoring the natural adaptive capabilities of coastal dunes on St Mary's, St Agnes, Bryher and St Martin's.
  • Improving local coastal defences around Hugh Town, Old Town and freshwater catchment areas on St Mary’s

Councillor Jonathan Smith, Lead Member for Energy, Climate Change & Environment says: "As a group of islands surrounded by sea, Scilly is at acute risk of rising sea levels and more storm activity. These are real impacts from a changing climate and we must adapt to safeguard housing, critical infrastructure and land. We are very grateful to the European Regional Development Fund and the Environment Agency for approving this crucial funding and are looking forward to putting it to good use to protect the islands from climate change threats for years to come.”

Councillor Steve Sims, Lead Member for Place says: “I would like to thank all of those who have contributed to the success of this bid, including my fellow Councillors and officers, our valued partners at the Environment Agency, Duchy of Cornwall, Wildlife Trust and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, as well as many of our fellow islanders who have contributed their expertise and experience along the way."

Running until June 2023, the project will help the islands remain sustainable in the face of climate change. Project Director Stephen Swabey joined the Council’s team earlier this month and the Project Assistant, James Watt joins him next month.


European Regional Development Fund

The project is receiving up to £2.2 million of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union, ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding

Publishing date: 
Monday, 22 February, 2021