Hexham Flood Alleviation Scheme

Closed 30 Sep 2023

Opened 18 Nov 2021


Hexham Flood Alleviation Scheme

We have developed a scheme to reduce the flood risk posed by the River Tyne and Skinnersburn to businesses and residents at the Bridge End and Tyne Mills Industrial Estates. This £6.5 million pound scheme is now complete.

The scheme defences are a combination of flood walls and grass embankments along the bank tops of the River Tyne and the Skinnersburn. We expect to complete the scheme by summer 2023.

On the south bank (Tyne Mills), 300 metres of new flood defence will be constructed from east of the Northumbrian Water Peth Head Pumping Station and along the edge of the Northumberland County Council yard, crossing the Skinnersburn and tying into high ground.

On the north bank (Bridge End), 370 metres of new flood defence will be constructed from the existing flood embankment behind Egger UK Ltd to the former Reiver Sports site, where it crosses the site and ties into high ground in the northwest corner.

Location plan showing Hexham flood alleviation scheme defences

Background to the scheme

Approximately 90 properties were flooded at the Bridge End and Tyne Mills Industrial Estates on 5 December 2015 from the River Tyne. This resulted in considerable damage and disruption.

Our ever changing climate is expected to mean wetter winters, more intense rainfall and, unfortunately, more frequent flooding in future. At the Tyne Mills Industrial Estate, the River Tyne backs up a small watercourse, the Skinnersburn, which in the absence of defences, floods into the industrial estate.

Our modelling shows that the industrial estate has a 2% chance of flooding occurring in any given year. The North Bank of the River Tyne shows that the Bridge End Industrial Estate is also at risk of flooding and has a 1.33% chance of flooding occurring in any given year.

The existing flood embankment along the North Bank is currently maintained by the Environment Agency under our permissive powers but it does not extend far enough to the west to provide protection in more extreme events. Our proposed scheme aims to reduce the risk of flooding at both industrial estates.

The scheme itself will be designed to protect against floods which have up to a 1% chance of occurring in any given year plus the defences will be designed to have an additional 300mm of freeboard.

This means, our scheme will protect homes and businesses up to the level of the Storm Desmond 2015 flood event.

Design and delivery of the flood alleviation scheme

Tyne Mills

We began construction of the flood defence in January and the wall is almost complete.

The structure across the Skinnersburn, which contains the outlet pipe for the Skinnersburn and a high-level overflow, has been built. Non return valves have been installed to stop the River Tyne backing up when levels are high.

Over the next few months we will construct the embankment next to the outlet and tie into the new flood wall and high ground on the north. The outlet has been designed to account for high flows in the Skinnersburn.

          Tyne Mills flood wall                                                      Skinnerburn Outlet

Bridge End

Construction on the north bank at Bridge End began in July and we are continuing to progress well with construction of the flood wall and embankment to the east.

As part of the scheme, we have purchased the former Reiver Sports site and will be demolishing the building. Before this can happen utility diversions and relocation of a substation have had to take place. We are hoping for the demolition to start in November.

   Bridge End flood wall                                        Bridge End embankment


  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation
  • Businesses
  • Statutory organisations
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Land owners
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Members of the public
  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Community groups
  • Flood action groups
  • Environment Agency colleagues


  • Business and industry