London-based centre cost £10.4m

A new flood forecasting centre will use the latest technology to help insurers predict flooding.

The Flood Forecasting Centre, which was opened by Hilary Benn, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last Tuesday, will provide information on the risks of both coastal and river flooding.

It will advise on when extreme rainfall may result in surface flooding, giving local councils and residents more time to prepare for any emergency.

The new government-funded £10.4m centre in Farringdon, central London, will be open around the clock.

It will have 26 staff, including hydrologists, weather forecasters and support staff.