A LONG-awaited £650,000 flood defence scheme can finally get underway after the last chunk of money needed to carry out the work was secured.

Campaigners in Moreton are celebrating after a £220,000 grant was awarded by Gloucestershire County Council.

A further £148,000 has already been granted for the Moreton Flood Alleviation Scheme by the county council while Cotswold District Council will make up the remaining funding.

It is one of 13 proposals for new flood schemes approved by the county council which has announced £758,000 worth of work to protect hundreds of homes from flooding.

Moreton was one of the worst-hit Cotswold communities during the 2007 floods, which devastated hundreds of properties.

But now a new 2km pipeline will be built to divert water away from the town into the Stow Brook along with extra flood relief culverts, meaning the town should be better protected should severe flooding occur again.

MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown hopes work can now take place in the autumn. He said: “This is a scheme which I have been closely involved in since its inception.

“It is ready to go and will hopefully protect many houses from repeat flooding ahead of next winter.”

Moreton district councillor Robert Dutton said: “I have been pressing hard and relentlessly for seven long years, following the devastating floods in 2007, to ensure that Moreton is protected from being inundated again and am delighted this is now in sight with this scheme.”

Tom Lewis, chairman of Moreton Town Council, said: “We’re all delighted.

A lot of people have put in a lot of hard work to get the money approved.”

Preparation work for all the projects is starting immediately and the county council hopes most of the work will be finished in 2014/15.