The first communities to receive funding from the Frequently Flooded Allowance have been announced, together receiving more than £26 million, the Government has said.
Areas with 10 or more properties that have been flooded at least twice in the last 10 years are eligible for the fund, which totals £100 million.
The first tranche includes 2,300 households and businesses, part of 53 flood defence projects, that are to receive better protection, the Government said.
Much of the money will go to communities in Worcestershire, Cumbria and the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, which have been repeatedly flooded during various exceptional storms since 2015.
Thousands of homes and businesses were affected on Boxing Day 2015 when Storm Eva unleashed a torrent that caused millions of pounds of damage.
Recent analysis from the University of Bristol found that if greenhouse gases continue warming the Earth’s climate to about 3.3C above preindustrial levels, damage from flooding could rise by more than a fifth across the UK.
South-east England, South Wales, north-west England and central Scotland face the greatest risk, with densely populated cities such as London, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh looking at possible damage increases of more than 25%.
“I am determined that we do whatever we can to prevent flooding that affects so many towns and villages across the country.
“This much-needed funding will go a long way to support those whose homes and livelihoods are repeatedly threatened by flooding and forms a key part of our record £5.2 billion investment by 2027 to protect communities in England better.”
More than half of the 53 projects are to protect against flooding from rivers and more than a third is for protection against surface water flooding, the Government said.
There is also one coastal defence project designed to protect the only road into Hayling Island in Hampshire from being flooded or eroded.
The projects are a mix of hard engineering flood defences and natural measures. Funding will also be used for the installation of flood doors and barriers for properties, which the Government said will help homes where traditional defence schemes are not viable.
More projects are expected to be announced before 2027 when the flood capital investment programme ends.
Caroline Douglass, executive director for flood and coastal risk management at the Environment Agency, said: “Increased flooding is just one of the impacts of climate change we are seeing in the UK and around the world.
“Protecting people and communities is our top priority as we look to tackle this challenge.
“The funding announced today will help better protect homes and businesses at risk from repeated flood incidents across the country.
“The Environment Agency’s strong track record in delivering flood defence schemes means we have better protected 374,000 homes since 2015.”