The UK is predicted to continue experiencing serious flooding with increasing frequency and magnitude. It is more essential than ever that communities are resilient, we have the capability to deliver an effective emergency response during these events and ensure rapid recovery afterwards.
The scale of flood events is growing. In December 2013 the UK suffered the effects of the largest storm surge for a generation.
Flooding is a national problem that requires a national response. 7% of the UK is at risk from fluvial flooding and 1.5% from coastal flooding.
The impact of flooding on human lives can be catastrophic. In the UK, approximately 2.8 million homes occupied by 6.7 million people are at risk of flooding.
The risk of flooding from the sea is growing. Predictions show sea levels rising by 0.35 metres by 2060 and 1 metre by 2110.
Flooding has an economic impact. It has been estimated that the cost of flooding and managing flood risk in the UK could rise to £2.2bn a year.
What will the National Flood Resilience Centre do?
Enable world-leading research
Our experts are internationally recognised for their research in understanding flooding and flood-prone places and have contributed to national flood resilience policy. Our work spans a wide range of topics from the arts and humanities and social science to physical environmental science, computer science and engineering. It collaborates with leading agencies, companies, research institutes and universities across the globe.
Create a world-leading facility
To create a step change in its activities and impact, we aim to build a world class, £15m bespoke flood simulation facility here in the Humber. The facility will provide an immersive environment for research, community benefit, education and flood responsiveness. Simulating urban swift and still water flood events in a realistic, cost effective, safe and managed environment, it will have at its heart ‘Inundation Street’, a life-sized urban street scene with mock commercial and residential properties.
The University of Hull’s £3.4m Flood Innovation Centre supports companies to find new and innovative approaches to flood resilience, in particular through connections with the University’s renowned flood and climate research expertise. Funding from the European Regional Development Fund provides specific resources for the Humber region to stimulate growth in the flood sector and develop innovative community resilience approaches to flooding.
Engage with Communities
Working with at-risk communities to explore how they understand and respond to flood risk and the impact of flooding on the lives of those affected. We collaborate with a range of partners to develop innovative ways to make communities aware of their flood risk and help them become more resilient to flooding. By supporting communities and businesses to be better prepared, we help householders, businesses and the economy to return to normal more quickly when catastrophic flooding occurs.
Educate with impact
We support education and learning about flood and flood resilience for people of all ages. The Centre has been closely involved in the development of the University of Hull’s new Masters programme in Flood Risk Management. The first students enrolled to start the course in September 2020. With support from key employers responsible for flood risk management, this course will create a new generation of flood risk specialists, filling an identified skills gap in the UK and internationally. Short courses to develop specialist skills for professionals are also available.
Improve flood response
Through the expertise of the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, and working with other service leaders and a wide range flood responder agencies across the country, we aim to improve the training and safety of those who respond in flood emergencies. Tailored training packages and real-world exercises delivered in world class specialist facilities will support the development of national competency standards and support responders to work safely and effectively in flood situations. Making a major contribution to improving coherent regional, national and international flood responsiveness, we will help communities, businesses and individuals to lose less and recover more quickly.
By working with businesses and communities, we will raise awareness of the threat of flooding and enable those at-risk to be better prepared. The National Flood Resilience Centre will help citizens and businesses understand their risk and what action they can take to minimise damage and distress, getting them back to normality more quickly.
The National Flood Resilience Centre is a partnership between the University of Hull and Humberside Fire and Rescue Service. Together they combine cutting-edge research, innovation and training capabilities with practical expertise in the delivery of catastrophic flood management response.
University of Hull
The University of Hull has a well-established record of research and innovation in flood prediction, management and resilience, led by the world-class multi-disciplinary work of its Energy and Environment Institute. By building on its strong links with industry, business, government and the local community, the University’s vision is to establish the National Flood Resilience Centre not only as a national centre for research, innovation and teaching, but as a world-leader in its field.
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service
With its extensive, front-line experience of managing catastrophic flooding events, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service understands just how vital it is to train and test its front-line staff and those of other agencies. Through purpose-built facilities, we aim to create a training environment capable of mounting much more realistic urban flooding scenarios so that the preparations of all agencies for dealing with future events can be improved and better coordinated by being put to rigorous test.
Steve Topham Director of Service Support, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service
We know from experience just how essential it is to provide an effective emergency flood response. Ark will give Fire and Rescue Services and all the other responding agencies a facility where we can prepare in a much more realistic way, and access to a wealth of research and innovation power.
Dr Stuart McLelland Co-Director, Energy and Environment Institute
The realistic flood environment at the National Flood Resilience Centre will lead to a step-change in our flood resilience capabilities and establish the centre as the go-to place for research, innovation, teaching and training. It will provide another way for the University to apply its expertise in service of the local community and the UK as a whole.
Dr Giles Davidson Project Lead, Ark
The National Flood Resilience Centre will make a big difference to communities right across the UK as floods become more frequent in a changing climate. By raising awareness and helping at-risk residents and businesses to be better prepared, we will help people to be more resilient and the economy to recover more quickly when floods strike.