Work at three multi-million pound flood protection schemes in North Ayrshire is on track as part of preparations to lessen the impact of climate change.

Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of flooding across Scotland.

Work at the £48 million Millport Flood Protection Scheme, on the Isle of Cumbrae, started last spring and work is progressing well on the construction of an offshore breakwater, which will create a calm area of water.

This part of the works is essential to allow a proposed marina – which is an Ayrshire Growth Deal project – to be constructed in the future.

Foreshore rockworks started in October at Clyde Street and at Crichton Street/Clyde Street in January using a barge.

Work also started last summer to create revetments– slopes that absorb wave energy to help reduce coastal erosion at Kelburn Street, Millburn Street and Clyde Street on Cumbrae. Installation of onshore flood walls is also ongoing.

The Millburn Flood Alleviation Scheme, also in Millport, is to be tendered in 2024 and will be constructed in 2025.

These projects follow on from the successful completion of the Upper Garnock Valley Flood Protection Scheme, which has seen the creation of a flood storage dam.

This will retain water during periods of high flow to reduce flood risk downstream while leaving the river’s flow unaffected at other times.

The dam – named Robin Dam in a public vote – combined with flood defence walls and embankments, will increase flood protection for the community in an area that has a history of flooding.

This scheme included works in Kilbirnie, Glengarnock, Dalry and is now complete, with only minor remedial and landscaping works still to be done, and these are scheduled for spring. It was delivered by contractor McLaughlin & Harvey on behalf of North Ayrshire Council and the Scottish Government.

The main contractor for the flood protection work in Millport is Van Oord UK Ltd, with support from subsidiary Mackley Civil Engineering.

This project is being managed on behalf of the Council by global professional services business, Turner & Townsend, with support from the Principal Designer Royal Haskoning DHV.

Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Green Environment and Economy, said: “It is encouraging to see the progress that has been made at both the Flood Protection Schemes on Cumbrae, and the one in the Garnock Valley.

“Due to climate change, we are expecting to experience more severe flooding across Scotland.

“And these projects are vital to help protect communities against risks associated with coastal erosion and flooding.”

The Scottish Government is contributing 80 per cent towards the overall costs of both schemes, with the Council meeting the rest.