Yarm Flood Alleviation Scheme

Closes 31 Aug 2024

Opened 16 Nov 2022



Yarm has a long history of flooding, dating back as early as 1771, when Yarm High Street flooded to a depth of 2 metres.

In 1993, the original Yarm flood alleviation scheme was completed. This scheme involved the construction of flood walls and flood gates to protect Yarm from the River Tees. Unfortunately, in 1995, these new flood defences were overtopped, and Yarm suffered flooding from the River Tees (see photo below). Additional works which built on the previous scheme were then undertaken in 2002. These works involved raising the flood walls by 0.5m (to their current height) and the installation of numerous new flood gates.

In total, the Environment Agency maintains 1.3km of flood wall and 32 flood gates in Yarm, with the defences providing critical flood risk reduction to over 500 homes and businesses.

A project to replace the flood gates in Yarm started in 2017, with 30 flood gates being installed by April 2018. Unfortunately, the flood gates that were installed in 2017 are deteriorating and are challenging for our staff to operate. Whilst the existing flood gates can and will continue to be operated in the short term to protect Yarm, our assessments concluded that new and improved flood gates are required, providing Yarm with a greater level of flood resilience.

Works to install the new flood gates and flood wall improvements began in January 2024 and completion is expected in autumn 2024. 


Why your views matter

We want to give as many opportunities as possible for the local community to give us their thoughts and opinions throughout.

We are running a series of community drop-in events in Yarm library, so keep an eye on this page for details.

You can find our newsletters on this web page, as well as the proposal for some further environmental enhancements. 

If you would like more information or have a specific question – just get in touch with us via EA-YarmFAS@environment-agency.gov.uk

What happens next

The Environment Agency is replacing Yarm flood gates because:

  • The existing gates are deteriorating faster than expected. They continue to protect Yarm however the gates do need to be replaced.
  • We have a new flood gate specification – using this specification to design new gates means that we will have gates that are safer and easier to operate.
  • Wide single leaf swinging flood gates can be dangerous to operate in windy conditions or on uneven ground, putting our staff at risk of injury. Consequently, we have made some gates smaller and changed some to sliding gates to make them safer to operate.

Another benefit of the new gates is that we will be able to shut the gates more quickly. This means that we will be able to shut them later reducing the impact on residents. There will still be some instances where we need to close the gates early.

Over the last few years we have engaged with all residents and landowners in Yarm who have flood gates on their properties. We have agreed with all landowners whether their flood gate can be removed and blocked up or replaced. In some instances, we have agreed with the landowner to reduce the opening width of the flood gate.

Thank you for everyone’s cooperation as we’ve gone through this process.

For more detailed information, you can find our newsletters on this web page, dates and times for community drop-in events, or contact us at EA-YarmFAS@environment-agency.gov.uk 


Continuation of works to replace the flood gates.

Please see the latest newsletter for illustrations.

Construction on the Yarm Flood Alleviation Scheme continues with Gate 17 now being successfully installed and tested, with the safe working access platform to be installed and reinstatment ongoing.

Flood Gate 2, off West Street, has been installed and is now back open to the Public, with some reinstatement still required which will be being completed shortly.

Our works on the replacement of Flood Gates 27 and 28, which are on the entrances of Swinburns Yard and Yarm Wharf Car Park have been completed following some small design changes required. Access to Swinburns Yard and Yarm Wharf Car Park were re-established by 28th March 2024. Again some small reinstatement is still required, which will be carried out over the coming weeks with as little disruption as possible.

We have now progressed onto replacing Gates 29 and 30, and will continue the installation  through April and May for an approximate 8 week period. To allow the safe installation we will continue to keep the footpath closed through Gate 30 for this duration.

Work to upgrade Gates 31 and 32 commenced in late March 2024, with a footpath closure shown below to maintain safe segregation of the workforce and the public. During this period some temporary traffic lights will need to be in place to maintain a safe flow of traffic past the work area at gate 31. The first operation in this area will be a soil sample rig to carry out some ground investigation works in the area.

In later April work will progress on the public Flood Gate no23 near the Yarm Road Bridge, and the private Flood Gate no19 under the viaduct. This again will mean some sections of the True Lovers Walk will need to be closed off for safety, and signage will be installed highlighting these area.

In May, the works will progress to private gates 20 to 22 west of Yarm Road Bridge, with this section of True Lovers Walk Footpath remaining closed throughout this period.

Please note that all dates provided are our best estimate at this moment in time, and may change, especially if we experience poor weather and the flood gates need to be operated.




  • Yarm FAS - community drop-in event

    From 27 Mar 2023 at 11:00 to 27 Mar 2023 at 14:00

    Everyone is welcome to visit Yarm Library (41 High Street, Yarm, TS15 9BH) on Monday 27 March, from 11:00am - 2pm. This is an informal drop-in session where we will be happy to answer any questions about the Scheme. We will be running more drop-in events, so please look out for the timetable on this webpage.

  • Yarm FAS - community drop-in event

    From 11 Sep 2023 at 12:00 to 11 Sep 2023 at 15:00

    Everyone is welcome to visit Yarm Library (41 High Street, Yarm, TS15 9BH) on Monday 11 September 2023, from 12:00pm - 3pm. This is an informal drop-in session where we will be happy to answer any questions about the Scheme.


  • Anyone from any background


  • Flood management
  • Specific projects, issues, or activity pages