THE Government body charged with managing the risk of flooding is set to install eight powerful pumps to prevent a repeat of the devastating Boxing Day floods in York.

As part of a £13 million project in the city, a new control room by the Foss Flood Barrier will also be built by the Environment Agency above an existing plant building to prevent it from becoming inundated again.

Areas of the city were left underwater in December, leading to scores of people being evacuated from their homes and numerous shop premises deluged, following unprecedented rainfall.

Controversy surrounded decisions taken as the water rose when its existing pumps, which were limited to diverting 30 tonnes of water per second from the River Foss into the River Ouse, struggled to cope with the estimated 35 tonnes of water per second was entering the station.

Those pumps will be replaced by ones capable of pumping 40 tonnes of water or more per second.

Agency officials said the 20-month project would involve more than 100 staff and contractors on site at any one time.

The barrier and pumping station will continue to work to full capacity at all stages of the project, which will be launched next month.

The new pumps should be installed by September.