NFU Conference 2014: Flood recovery fund – details unveiled

Farm minister George Eustice has unveiled details of a £10m government fund for flood-hit farmers.

The announcement was made at the NFU Conference 2014 in Birmingham.

Farmers whose businesses had been directly affected by flooding would be able access £10 million of government support from Friday (28 February), said Mr Eustice.

The Farming Recovery Fund would provide assistance with four key areas of recovery, offering support with uninsured losses to get farms into production again, he said.

Funding will cover:

  • the restoration of productive grassland
  • the restoration of productive arable and horticultural land
  • restoring farm vehicle access to fields
  • improvements to agricultural drainage

Under the scheme, all farmers affected by the flooding will be able to apply for emergency funding of up to £5,000, covering up to 100% of their business costs.

This will ensure that they can continue growing crops and grazing livestock.

The majority of the Farming Recovery Fund will be reserved for farm businesses whose farms remain flooded, Mr Eustice told the NFU annual conference in Birmingham.

Unlike the initial grant, the upper limit of this funding will be set when the impact on these longer term losses from flood damage are clearer, once the flood waters recede.

“We want to help farmers affected by flooding and the severe weather to get their businesses back on track as soon as possible,” Mr Eustice told NFU delegates at the Birmingham ICC.

The new £10 million Farming Recovery Fund had been set up to help farmers directly affected meet short term costs as the flood waters recede.

Funding will only cover uninsured losses and not items which insurance should normally cover and applies to farms in England only.

Additionally, the £10 million Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme will offer eligible farmers grants of up to £35,000 on schemes designed to make businesses more resilient.

Farmers interested in applying for funding should contact Defra’s rural development team by emailing call 0300 060 2700.

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