A FLOOD defence scheme to further protect the Malton, Norton and Old Malton area when the River Derwent bursts its banks has taken a step forward.

A £500,000 boost for the project has been granted. The scheme will see bespoke property-level protections introduced, and street planting to improve drainage and reduce the volume of water entering sewers.

The York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership has approved the the largest share of funding needed for the project, which will also see North Yorkshire County Council invest £450,000 and Ryedale District Council £320,000.

It is hoped the scheme will end centuries of flooding misery for residents of the towns, despite numerous measures being implemented in an attempt to overcome floods.

The project is set to cost about £1.5m in total.

In 2005 nearly 170 properties flooded in Malton and Norton.

Cllr Don Mackenzie welcomed the funding, saying the measures will mean "a great deal to the residents of Malton and Norton". Cllr Lindsay Burr said the scheme is of "critical importance".