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Last Updated: Friday, 22 June 2007, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK
8.8m flood defence scheme opened
The opening of the flood defence project
A new flood gate at The Waits in St Ives was closed on Friday
An 8.8m flood defence scheme has been opened in St Ives in Cambridgeshire - which has suffered major flooding three times since 1998.

On Friday a new flood gate at The Waits in St Ives was closed for the first time to mark the scheme's completion.

The overall scheme is 2.9 miles (4.75km) long and involved raising and improving embankments and building new embankments in Wilhorn and Hemingford.

The work started on the scheme in September 2005.

More than 750m (820 yards) of flood walls were raised and constructed in Hemingford Grey and St Ives at the rear of properties and through public areas, with 500m (546 yards) of brick clad steel sheet piling installed.

The flood defence work
The flood walls will help protect the properties from more flooding

A new surface drainage pumping station has also been built at Victoria Terrace in Hemingford Grey to reduce the risk of local flooding.

The worst recorded flooding in the area took place in 1947.

In 1998, more than 60 properties were affected and most recently 40 properties were flooded in January 2003.

The flood defences work in tandem with the natural floodplain of the Great Ouse, with water still being allowed to flood over this as necessary.

St Ives has flooded three times since 1998

Work starts on new flood defences
02 Sep 05 |  Cambridgeshire

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