Selkirk Flood Scheme picks up Saltire Award

Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme

Published: Tuesday, 24th October 2017

The Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme has received a prestigious national engineering award.

The £32.1million project, which provides protection to around 600 homes and businesses from major flood events, won the Environmental Award at the Saltire Civil Engineering Awards on Tuesday.

The awards panel were impressed with the multi-agency collaborative working which ensured multiple benefits were provided by the scheme, which has already protected properties from flooding on six separate occasions.

What are some of the notable features of the scheme?

  • An intelligent water management system at St Mary’s Loch which can store the equivalent of 620 Olympic swimming pools’ worth of water, and helped protect properties during storms Desmond and Frank in December 2015
  • A total of 6,000 metres of footpaths and parks have been provided in the area, as well as the five footbridges which allow walkers and cyclists to explore the countryside
  • Two kilometres of flood defences have been created between the Ettrick Water and the Riverside recreational and industrial areas
  • More than 150 people worked on the scheme at its peak, with around half being Borders residents
  • Main contractor RJ McLeod estimates that business worth £6m was generated for the local economy during construction
  • In addition, the scheme was finished on time and within budget, having been completed in December last year.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, our Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure

“It is fantastic that the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme has been recognised by the Saltire Awards, which celebrate outstanding engineering achievements in Scotland.

“The scheme has already provided environmental, economic and social benefits for the local community, and will continue to do so in the years ahead.

“The Council now has a track record of delivering successful flood protection schemes, with projects in Galashiels, Jedburgh and Selkirk completed.

“We are now taking forward the Hawick Flood Protection Scheme with the aim of providing similar protection and benefits to its residents and businesses.”

Conor Price, Senior Project Manager of the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme

“A key objective of this scheme from the beginning was to provide an environmentally acceptable and sustainable flood protection scheme. 

“Definitive proof of its flood protection capabilities was achieved in December 2015 when it protected Selkirk from flooding during Storm Frank. 

“This environmental award from the Institution of Civil Engineering (ICE) in partnership with the Saltire Society now provides an independent confirmation of the environmental achievements of this major civil engineering project.

“We are delighted to receive this award on behalf of the Council, the people of Selkirk, and the many organisations and individuals that worked on the project over the past decade.”

Facts and figures

  • 3,400 metres of wall created in total across the scheme
  • 3,100 metres of flood embankment created
  • 1,100 metres of river restoration on the Long Philip Burn and creation of new park land
  • 310 metres of river bank erosion protection created
  • Over 11,000 metres of public utilities diverted
  • Five new footbridges installed.

The following areas of Selkirk now have protection:

  • Riverside (1 in 500 year flood event from Ettrick Water and 1 in 200 from Shaw Burn)
  • Bannerfield (1 in 200 year from the Ettrick and Yarrow Waters and 1 in 100 from the Long Philip Burn)
  • Philiphaugh (1 in 200 year from the Philiphaugh Mill Lade, Yarrow and Ettrick waters and 1 in 100 from the Long Philip Burn).

All protection is plus a climate change allowance.

In August 2012, the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme became the first major flood protection scheme with an environmental statement to be approved under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009.

Further information is availabe on the Selkirk Flood Scheme and flooding in general.