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Local sea defences funding

Information on how we are raising funds for local sea defences between Snettisham and Heacham, and how you can help.

Funding group

A Funding Group was established to raise funds to maintain the shingle ridge sea defence between Snettisham and Heacham. Members of the Funding Group include:

  • Anglian Water
  • the Environment Agency
  • the East Wash Coastal Management Community Interest Company
  • the Borough Council

We are now in year 5 of the Funding Groups 15-year programme of works of annual beach recycling and periodic beach recharge of the shingle ridge. The partnership has continued to work extremely well to raise funds over this time.

You can view the Funding Group’s meeting agendas and minutes at the bottom of this page.

Help to raise funds

The sea defences between the Snettisham and Heacham coastline are made up of shingle ridges and stretches of concrete sea wall. Wave action removes shingle from the beach and shingle ridge, reducing its height and the level of protection provided. Each year, the Environment Agency leads work to re-build the shingle ridges with extra shingle from further down the shoreline at Snettisham Scalp. This process is called beach recycling.

You can view further information on annual beach recycling works in the Local Sea Defence Newsletters at the bottom of the page.

Beach recycling was previously fully funded by central government grant in aid. Now only 41% funding is given meaning the remaining 59% needs to be raised by the local community via the Funding Group. The Environment Agency have produced a briefing note which explains this in more detail.

Up to £150,000 is needed to carry out the annual beach recycling. The local sea defences Funding Group was set up to collect the remaining funds needed.

How much has been raised so far?

Local landowners, businesses and commercial properties came together to set up the East Wash Coastal Management Community Interest Company (also known as the CIC), to collect funds from local landowners and commercial premises. The EWCMCIC document provides a background to the company.

In 2021 the CIC raised £186,000, £24,000 of which was used to contribute to this years annual beach recycling. In addition to this, the CIC now holds a significant surplus balance of just over £1,000,000 which could be used to contribute towards a future mini-beach recharge.

Over the past 5 years Anglian Water has contributed £100,000 to annual beach recycling works. Anglian Water have confirmed they will continue to funds over the next 5 years, with a budget of £316,000 for local sea defence works between Snettisham and Heacham up to 2024/25.

Beach Recharge

When there is no longer enough shingle material available to complete annual beach recycling, a beach recharge is required. This involves importing material from another location and placing it on the beach and shingle ridge between Snettisham and Heacham. This has previously been completed in 1990/91 and 2005/06.

It was originally anticipated that a mini-beach recharge would be required in 2022/23. However, the amount of shingle material available for beach recycling at Snettisham Scalp remains sufficient and therefore the mini-beach recharge has been delayed.

The Environment Agency will continue to monitor sediment availability for beach recycling and shall report back to the Funding Group with a future date when it is anticipated the mini-beach recharge will be required.

A mini-beach recharge will cost approximately £2.4 million.

Make a voluntary contribution

Other voluntary contributions are being asked for from individual owner-occupiers and local businesses. These contributions will help make sure properties can continue to be protected. The local sea defences funding group suggests a yearly payment amount of:

  • £15 for a beach hut
  • £50 for a caravan or chalet
  • £100 for a small business

You can make your voluntary contribution online.

To contribute to local sea defences funding you'll need:

  • a valid debit or credit card

Make a contribution

Other ways to pay

You can pay by cheque. Post your cheque made payable to ‘BCKLWN’ to us. Write on the back “local sea defences fund” with your name and address. We may use your name to acknowledge the funding received (not the amount). Please indicate separately if you wish to opt out from this.

Post to: BCKLWN, King's Court, Chapel Street, King's Lynn, PE30 1EX.

Further information

For further information please see our information leaflets. You can find these in our document downloads below.