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Todmorden flood defence

VolkerStevin, working alongside the Environment Agency and CH2M HILL has completed a flood defence project to protect Todmorden against flash floods from Walsden Water and the River Calder.

This three year project saw all parties work collaboratively to complete a 1.1km section of watercourse along Walsden Water, which flows from south to north through the town centre, upgrading the existing flood defences, retaining walls and culverts located along this length.

Work included:


  • Fitting non-return valves to all protruding pipework in the culverts along the watercourse to prevent the back flow of water into the various drainage pipes.
  • Removal of the Morrison’s delivery area access bridge, which in a storm event was a major obstacle to the flow of water in Walsden Water, and construction of a new access road.
  • Raising the existing flood walls, where required.
  • Culvert strengthening and new head walls.
  • Removal of the weir structure to reshape the river to create a smoother flow with rock armour installed to protect the walls and offer a natural habitat.

Some of the culvert work was undertaken underneath Todmorden Market Hall, which remained fully operational throughout.


Community engagement

Community engagement was a crucial aspect of this project and the project management team worked hard to establish positive relationships with stakeholders, as well as hold public consultation meetings and carry out numerous community engagement initiatives to raise the profile of the works.

VolkerStevin staff stayed on site through the night on several occasions, to assist local residents and business owners during flood events.

Outstanding achievements

This project has received a number of prestigious awards including an ‘Excellent’ rating from CEEQUAL; receiving a score of 92.4%, two Considerate Contractor Scheme awards, International Safety Award from the British Safety Council and the North East Regional Customer Service Award from the Environment Agency

Facts and figures