More than £2million has been granted for flood defences in an area blighted by the 'fear' of rising water.

The £2.4million has been granted for defences along the River Irwell in Kearsley that have been hit by flooding several times in recent years.

But more than £13million will still need to be found before the Kearsley Flood Risk Alleviation Scheme project is fully funded.

Bolton Council cabinet member for the environment Cllr Richard Silvester said: “I was very pleased to vote in favour of this additional funding which will cover work for two future financial years until 2027.

“The flood alleviation measures are most definitely needed at this location in Kearsley and there have been two major flooding incidents in recent years.

The Bolton News: Flooding has long been a cause of concern in recent yearsFlooding has long been a cause of concern in recent years (Image: Newsquest)

“The river level was also very high only a few weeks ago.”

The call for flood defences has been a long running issue in areas around Kearsley, particularly the village of Prestolee, in recent years.

On Boxing Day 2015 the village was devastated by significant floods and various areas along the River Irwell have been threatened by rising water during stormy weather in the years since.

The £2.4million was granted at a meeting of North West Flood and Coastal Committee on Friday January 19 and comes from a pot of money paid into by councils from all over the North West.

Cllr Silvester, who represents Greater Manchester on the committee, says he was glad to vote in favour of the extra funding for the financial years 2025/26 and 2026/27.

But he warned that more would need to be done to meet to total funding needs.

Cllr Silvester said: “Even with this funding from the local levy, there is still a significant funding gap of £13.52 million to be found as the estimated cost of the whole project is £20.3million and £6.78million has been allocated to date.

“I am however very hopeful that more local levy funding will be allocated in future years.”

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But the announcement about extra funding has been welcomed by representatives in the area

Cllr Debbie Newall, of Kearsley, said: “It’s really good news, although there’s still a shortfall in funding £2.4million is a lot of money.

“It’s a really good move by Richard and we’re very grateful for that.”

She added: “I used to live on that estate, and it really is the fear factor that’s built in that whenever you’ve got bad weather, you’re going to get flooding again.

“So it really is reassuring to know that extra money is there to do what needs to be done.”

Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi has also welcomed the news and says she will press the government to meet the extra funding needs.

She said: "It is great to hear that Bolton Council is backing the residents of Prestolee.

"I know local authority budgets are tight and it shows the council is really committed to protecting the residents in the area.

"I will continue to lobby government ministers to match that commitment by providing the extra funding needed to make progress on the necessary flood defences."