A DEBATE about whether a major investment in flood defences is needed for Worcester will take place at The Hive.

Since 1998, Worcestershire has experienced four major flood events with the most recent being last month's floods that closed Worcester bridge.

Environment Agency partnership and strategic overview team leader, Christian Wilcox, will be one of a panel of speakers at the debate titled 'Is a major investment in flood defences really the answer?' at the library and council hub on Tuesday, April 8, at 6pm.

Laura Worsfold, business development manager at The Hive, said the debate was close to people's hearts in Worcestershire.

She said: “Thanks to purpose built drainage systems and measures put in place at the design stage to protect The Hive in the case of flooding we remained open for business, apart from a few hours needed for safety checks."

Carl Flint, from the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Worcestershire, who helped organise the debate, said: "Having personally experienced the damage caused by flooding when a nearby culvert had become blocked, I can begin to understand the consequences of living near to water. However, across the country housing developments continue to be built in flood plains resulting in untold misery to their occupants now and forever more.

"What measures need to be established to ensure a flood free future and is this really feasible?"

Guest speakers at the debate also include Michael Goodfellow-Smith, director of Quest for Future Solutions, Angela Fitch, regional development manager for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Ken Harris, member of the FSB and owner of Severn Leisure Cruises, and Dr Graham Hill, visiting lecturer at the University of Worcester.

People who live in the county or are affected by the flooding are invited to attend to listen to ideas on future solutions and put their questions to the panel who will be answering questions like, 'what are the best solutions to minimise the impact and disruption caused by this increasing natural phenomenon?', 'should we look to speed up water movement in areas where it is a problem, but risk the possibility of passing a worse problem downstream?' and 'what are the best flood solutions, hard engineering or other alternatives such as sustainable urban drainage systems?'.

The event takes place in The Studio at The Hive and entry is £3 per person. Tickets can be purchased at The Hive from the Level 1 Information Point. For more information visit thehiveworcester.org.