Huge new beacons will be put in place in Southend to raise the alarm if there is a risk of flooding.

The beacons - which will shine a light to warn people if there is a flood risk - come as part of a national project to improve flood defences.

The council is one of 25 areas set to benefit from a share of £150million - funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - to improve flood defences and coastal resilience in the area.

Bosses have welcomed the grant which will see Southend and Thurrock council collaborate on the Catchment to Coast Project where beacons will be placed inland. 

No decision has been made no precise location yet. 

The council will also work with universities to provide research projects as part of the investment.

Joanne Matthews, principal engineer at Southend council and project lead said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the grant for the Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme.

“The Catchment to Coast project will see collaborative working between Southend and Thurrock councils and other government organisations, wildlife charities, utility companies and academic institutions.

“The Catchment to Coast Project will receive approximately £6million between April 1 2021 and March 31 2027.

“It has been agreed that the project will be given some initial funding in order to develop the project proposals in greater detail before the project family begins in summer 2021.

“This funding will enable us to deliver an innovated programme that will primarily address the risks of surface water flooding and coastal erosion of historic landfill sites across the boroughs.”

“The project will include working with local universities to provide opportunities for PhD research projects, whilst supporting the monitoring and evaluation of the project, also developing and piloting a visual surface water beacon in order to warn those living in high-risk areas of potential surface water flooding.”

The actions from the project are expected to provide other benefits such as improving water quality, improving biodiversity and educating the public on resilience actions for flooding and coastal change.

The Government has pledged to invest £5.2billion in 2,000 new flood and coastal defences over the next six years.

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said “long term approaches to improve communities’ resilience” is vital to combat climate change.

The minister said the ambitious plans to tackle flood risk “help to reinforce the UK’s position as a world leader in innovation and new technology as we build back better”.