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Flood defence schemes scoop top prizes at Yorkshire and Humber Awards

02 March 2022

The ceremony took place in Leeds and celebrated the best civil engineering projects across the region.

Flood defence schemes scoop top prizes at Yorkshire and Humber Awards
Centenary Award winners 2022 for Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation Scheme (MFAS).

Two flood alleviation schemes have been awarded for their excellence in civil engineering at the 167th annual ICE Yorkshire and Humber Awards.

The annual ceremony took place at the Leeds Marriott Hotel on Friday 25 February, and saw 18 shortlisted projects battle it out to win the Smeaton Award and Centenary Award.

The two awards were presented to the following projects:

Smeaton Award winner

The Otley Flood Alleviation Scheme, delivered by WSP, Mott MacDonald and BAM Nuttall for Leeds City Council, won the Smeaton Award, which rewards projects valued under £5 million.

This scheme reduces the risk of flooding to 53 residential properties and a local business who have regularly encountered flooding from the River Wharfe at Otley, in West Yorkshire.

The scheme also protects a key road that crosses the river that would previously become blocked in flood events.

The work on site included the installation of 130 metres of sheet piles cut off wall up to 15m deep that were encased within a landscaped soil embankment above ground level for protection and aesthetics in this conservation area.

Kell Beck, a road in Otley, was also realigned and daylighted. Planting was installed to improve biodiversity.

Centenary Award winner

The Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation Scheme (MFAS), delivered by VBA (a joint venture between VolkerStevin Limited, Boskalis Westminster and SNC-Lavalin's Atkins business) delivered the scheme for the Environment Agency and won the Centenary Award, which recognises projects valued over £5 million.

On Boxing Day 2015, the village of Mytholmroyd experienced its highest recorded flood level, with 400 properties directly affected by the event.

Immediately after the flood, central government committed to reducing flood risk in the village with construction beginning 12 months later.

Within five years, the £41m project was completed, better protecting 400 homes and businesses.

The completed project includes new, raised and improved flood walls and the relocation and increased span of Caldene Bridge.

The scheme also widened the river channel at key locations and flood-proofed buildings adjacent to the River Calder and Cragg Brook, all within physically constrained conditions.

Individual award winners

A series of awards were also presented to celebrate the work of individuals:

  • STEM Ambassador Award winner – Darren Blank
  • ICE President’s Special Recognition Awards – Chris Longley, Roger Falconer and Clarie Astwood.

Other schemes shortlisted for an award were given a certificate of excellence or commendation.

Certificates of excellence

Smeaton Award:

Centenary Award:

Certificates of commendation

Smeaton Award:

Centenary Award:

  • Joanne Stephenson, communications lead at ICE