Great Yarmouth

Tidal Defence Project

EA JBA Bentley

Project Background

The Rivers Yare and Bure run through the town of Great Yarmouth; connecting the Norfolk Broads to the North Sea.  Great Yarmouth has a history of flooding, notably in 1953, 1978, 2007 and 2013.  The 1953 flood was catastrophic when the flood defences failed and ten sadly lost their lives. 


The quays that support the flood defence walls are made of steel sheet piling, and in many locations are badly corroded and need improvement. The Environment Agency have planned a phased project, over the next 40 years, to manage the defences and address this issue. There are many different types of defences of varying ages in Great Yarmouth and we have prioritised work based on the condition of the defences.


There are approximately 10.2km of flood defences in Great Yarmouth that reduce the risk of tidal flooding from the River Yare and River Bure to approximately 4,500 homes, businesses and critical infrastructure. The flood defences support the economic growth and development of Great Yarmouth with the potential to support 34,000 jobs and £1.5 billion to the economy. This became even more poignant following the east coast floods in 2013.


The current scheme (Epoch 2) follows on from Epoch 1 which was finished in March 2017, with Epochs 3 and 4 planned after the current works have been completed. Epoch 2 will involve works to 40 flood defence walls covering approximately 4 kilometres, divided up across a number of different locations across the town.