ANOTHER £350,000 has been given to Romsey’s flood defence scheme as community leaders look to avoid a repeat of the 2013/14 flooding.

The cash, which came from the Southern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, an environmental arm of central government, will go towards the £5.15 million scheme. The group had previous contributed £807,000.

Detailed designs of the project are “near completion”, local chiefs say, and includes a number of measures designed to prevent a repeat of the flooding which hit homes and businesses across Romsey nearly five years ago.

It is claimed the proposed works will protect nearly 200 homes by improving defences in Middlebridge Street, Winchester Road, Mainstone and on the River Test.

Work, which started earlier this year, is due to finish by next winter.

Others to have contributed include Hampshire County Council with £1.35 million, and Test Valley Borough Council with £210,000.

A European Union grant of £120,000 has also helped towards the funding goal.

Leader of the county authority, and member for Romsey Rural, councillor Roy Perry said: “I’m pleased that the Southern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee agreed its additional £350,000.

“This was the last piece in the financial jigsaw. The county as lead authority for flood relief has itself contributed £1.35 million and we are pleased Test Valley Borough Council and the Environment Agency have also contributed and worked closely together to get this scheme ready.

“Hampshire has had to deal with flooding problems from Buckskin in Basingstoke, Milford on Sea and Hambledon amongst others.

“But as a local member for Romsey Rural I am delighted we have now got the funding for the Romsey Scheme.”

This new cash injection comes just a month after work began on a £120,000 project to refurbish the Fishlake sluices.

Located on the outskirts of Romsey on the River Test, they divert water between man-made channels flowing through the town centre and a side channel that takes the water back to a natural watercourse.

The system has now been revamped in a scheme undertaken by the Environment Agency.

The sluices will help to reduce flood risk in the market town, while benefitting wildlife, local chiefs say.

As reported, the winter of 2013/14 brought with it mass flooding to Romsey, starting on Christmas Eve.

Rain continued to fall on New Year’s Day, with sewage sent spilling out of drains and into the street.