FLOOD-HIT areas are set to receive better protection after it was revealed a multi-million pound pumping station is to be constructed to allay fears in communities which sit alongside the River Dearne.

The pumping station set to be built in Cudworth will have the capacity to store an extra 33,000 litres of stormwater.

Yorkshire Water bosses are working alongside Barnsley Council and have already identified a site off Barnsley Road, with work expected to begin in the summer.

It will reduce discharges at Small Bridge Dike a tributary of the River Dearne during heavy rainfall by around 60 per cent.

The project is part of a £180m investment across Yorkshire by the end of April 2025 to reduce the impact of storm-related flooding.

Liam Thomas, project manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “We are committed to improving watercourses across Yorkshire and are investing to reduce storm overflows.

“The new pumping station and storage will mean the network will be able to collect and store surface water entering the system during periods of heavy and prolonged rainfall, significantly reducing the number of discharges from the overflow into Small Bridge Dike.”

Barnsley which has faced three significant flooding events in as many years has received cash from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) for work in worst-hit places such as Darton, Lundwood, Low Valley, Wombwell and Cudworth.

Storms Ciara, Denis and most recently Babet have all impacted Barnsley, which resulted in a month’s worth deluge of rain falling in a day on each occasion, swelling rivers to the point where each of the town’s three the Dearne, Dove and Don burst their banks and caused havoc.

The council, Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency have all been involved in so-called ’shovel ready’ schemes.

Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis added: “Climate change is leading to increased rainfall which hugely increases flood risks, but by introducing solutions to the mix we can break the cycle.

“Throughout my time as the local MP, I have been working hard to deliver a long-term, sustainable solution to the very long-running issue of flooding in the street made ever more urgent by devastating floods.

“It is welcome to see that the multi-agency partnership between Barnsley Council, Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency is working effectively and that transformative flood defence and mitigation work is being delivered on the ground.”

Following the most recent floods in October, South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard wrote to the Secretary of State with an invite to visit the area to see places where the current defences are not sufficient and more resilient long-term solutions need to be put in place.

He said climate change meant flooding worries were not going to go away and admitted there was still plenty of work to be done.

“We need to do more to prevent flooding in the first place and also deviating the consequences when it does happen,” he added.

“One of my aims is to make the case for more funding for our part of the world because we need to get it right when it comes to flood alleviation.

“It can’t be right that people have sleepless nights, worrying about whether their homes are going to get flooded.”

Designs for the pumping station are being finalised, according to Tim Rushton, operations manager at Mott MacDonald Bentley, the firm who will oversee the work.

“We are pleased to be playing an important role in supporting Yorkshire Water to improve the quality of watercourses across the region including this project in Cudworth,” he said.

“We look forward to starting on site later this year once designs have been finalised.”