MILLIONS of pounds have been allocated for flood defences in the region – giving the green light for work to start this year.

More than £2 million will be invested in plans for Pocklington Beck, £13.2 million for the Ripon flood alleviation scheme and more than £1 million for the River Derwent site of special scientific interest restoration. There will be £2 million to go to the Pickering flood storage scheme.

The funds make up part of £294 million to be invested in flood-risk management by the Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

More than 64,000 more homes will be better protected from the devastating effects of flooding after 93 new flood defence scheme were given the green light to start construction this year, said DEFRA.

Other schemes to have been given money include £3.3 million to Mill Beck Reservoir works in Market Weighton, £3.5 million in Northallerton for the Sun and Turker Becks flood alleviation scheme and more than £5 million for works in Filey.

In Scarborough, £13.3 million has been given to the South Bay Spa sea wall works, £631,000 for sea wall repairs at North Bay, £163,000 to the Scarborough Church beck culvert improvements and £66,000 to the South Bay beach management programme.

More than £2.4 million has been given to the Bridlington Royal Princess Parade sea wall improvements.

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, it will unlock the economic potential of once blighted land. We are saying to them that it is safe to come and set up business.”