Angry floods campaigners have hit out at new Government funding, which appears to ignore Cumbria.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has described its new floods plan as the “most comprehensive in a decade”, including £5.2bn investment to create about 2,000 new flood and coastal defences to better protect homes in England.

It claims it will benefit 336,000 properties by 2027. It is also offering more support to help households and businesses get back on their feet more quickly after flooding.

However, while it promises to build 2,000 new flood and coastal defence schemes by 2027, the only detail provided relates to £170m being ploughed in to “accelerate” what the Government calls 22 “new shovel-ready flood defence projects” – none of which are in the county.

Sue Cashmore, from Cockermouth Flood Action Group, said the Government needs to start realising that it cannot focus its attention solely on those areas where there are larger populations.

“They look at how many houses are affected and it is allocated [money spent] per head. Obviously we are a small area.

“Why is a rural life not equal to an urban life?” she asked. “The Government needs to focus on the rural areas for flood protection.

“We have as much right to a safe and happy life as anybody else.

“I have heard nothing to say they are planning anything around here.”

Amanda Wallace, from the Workington Flood Action Group, said the town has got a small levy, which will be used to do investigation work in Barepot.

“There is no reassurance for us whatsoever,” she said. “It will be another winter and nothing has changed.

“They are looking at changing the funding formula [rather than per head] which is greatly needed.”

However, John Kelsall, from Carlisle Flood Action Group, said the focus should not be on flood defence schemes, but an entire change of focus.

“We need to manage our water systems a lot better than we are right now,” he explained, “rather than getting hung up on spending money on places hardest hit.

“Carlisle can have catastrophic impacts from where flooding hasn’t been managed properly or defences not maintained properly.

“There are 2,200 sq km of catchment though: that’s where we should be looking at how we can manage the water systems.”

Mr Kelsall expressed concern over Defra’s promise to “plant trees, restore peatland and wetlands, and properly manage soil” however.

“I’m a little concerned about the knee-jerk reaction to go towards issues of climate change,” he said. “Climate change is an issue that will affect us in the future, but we are being flooded by things that have happened in the past.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "“We continue to invest in reducing flood risk to Cumbrian communities by taking forward a wide range of flood defence schemes across the county.

"The £170m of funding announced on July 14 aims to accelerate, shovel-ready flood defence projects in 2020 and 2021."

The agency continually invests in flood and coastal erosion risk management schemes where the risk is highest, wherever it is across the country.