Major engineering works designed to increase Keswick’s flood resilience are due to start next Monday.

Cumbria County Council and the Environment Agency are investing about £2m in the works.

These will see the construction of a new flood storage basin at Springs Field, and a new pumping station under Penrith Road, which will discharge into the River Greta.

Improvements will also be made to drainage to help the run-off of surface water in the ‘Castlehead Drain’ between the basin and pumping station.

The Penrith Road area of Keswick forms one of Cumbria’s greatest areas of surface water flood risk. Following feedback from the community, construction work is not starting until the end of the school summer holidays to minimise disruption and avoid the peak tourist season.

The pumping station element of the project requires a full road closure of Penrith Road at the end of Myers Street for up to 14 weeks. The contractor, VBA, will be working a minimum of six days a week to complete the work as quickly as they can. A diversion will be in place.

Representatives from VBA will be in Keswick Library every Tuesday between 10am and noon throughout the work to answer questions and give progress updates.

Keith Little, county council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “A lot of background work has been carried out to understand why flooding tends to be more devastating in the Penrith Road area of Keswick than other parts of the county. This is a significant investment and will protect hundreds of properties from flooding, and stop the extent of surface water from disrupting surrounding highways and local businesses.”

Lynne Jones, chairman of Keswick Flood Action Group, said: “After the floods of 2005, we flagged up there was an early surface water flood risk in the Penrith Road area, long before the River Greta caused flooding at that point.

“The construction of the river defences in 2012 resulted in the potential for even deeper ponding in the Penrith Road area. Sadly this proved to be the case during Storm Desmond in 2015.

“We are very relieved the scheme is, at last, going ahead.”