DEVON County Council will bid for a share of £5 million offered by DEFRA to improve flood prevention.

The two-year pilot Flood Resilience Community Path-finder scheme will provide up to 20 communities with grants to improve resili-ence to flooding in communities across the country.

The bid coincides with the county council’s investigative report into this summer’s floods, which may be used to help form the basis of its application.

More than 230 homes and businesses were flooded during the floods in July.

The council worked with the Environment Agency on the report to determine the main flooding causes, and public meetings were held to discuss the extent of the damage caused. A second report into last month’s floods is also in the pipeline and will be published early next year.

Cll Stuart Hughes, chair of the Devon flood risk management partnership and county council cabinet member for highways, said: “I welcome the Govern-ment’s announcement of further investment in flood protection and we’ll be keen to bid for a share of it. “We’ve seen from the two major floods we’ve suffered this year that vital investment’s needed to protect our communities. “The flooding in July was unusual in that its intensity was more typical of winter rainfall, but as we’ve seen with last month’s flooding these events app-ear to be occurring more and more frequently.

“Communities affected are providing us with information at our ongoing flood drop-in sessions and I’m sure that will help inform our bid for funding.”

Funding for successful applicants will be distributed in March, 2013.