Flood rescue training scene
Water background

Ark will deliver the purpose-built UK National Flood Resilience Centre. The first of its kind anywhere in the world, Ark will combine simulated full-scale urban and rural environments that can be inundated to provide flood emergency responders with realistic swift and still water training and the research community with large-scale research and innovation infrastructure. Using the National Flood Resilience Centre as a vehicle, the Ark Project partners will make the UK a world-leader in the management of, and resilience against, catastrophic flooding.

Rationale

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 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.

Residents being rescued
Aerial view of houses affected by flooding

What will Ark do?

By working with businesses and communities, Ark will raise awareness of the threat of flooding and enable those at-risk to be better prepared. Ark 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.

Partners

Ark 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 Ark 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 the purpose-built facilities of Ark, it aims 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.

Water background

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.

Steve Topham Director of Service Support, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service

The realistic flood environment at Ark 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.

Professor Dan Parsons Director of the Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull

Ark 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, Ark will help people to be more resilient and the economy to recover more quickly when floods strike.

Dr Giles Davidson Project Lead, Ark