£2m flood recovery fund opens for applications

A £2m recovery fund has opened for applications to help farmers hit by summer floods in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

It means farmers who have suffered uninsurable damage to their property can now apply for grants between £500 and £25,000 to cover a number of repair costs.

See also: Video footage of floods engulfing Yorkshire farm

Grants under the Farming Recovery Fund are available for a range of work – including rebuilding dry stone walls, re-cultivating productive land and replacing damaged field gates.

A handbook with details of what is eligible and how to apply for funding was published by Defra on Friday (20 September).

Widespread damage

Growers and livestock producers in and around the Lincolnshire village of Wainfleet, near Boston, suffered widespread damage when the River Steeping burst its banks in June.

Two months later, flash floods engulfed parts of the Yorkshire Dales, drowning livestock and washing away stone walls and topsoil.

Defra secretary Theresa Villiers said: “This summer’s unprecedented weather wreaked havoc on farmland in North Yorkshire and Wainfleet.”

She added: “The government is taking action to help farmers get back on their feet in light of the extensive damage suffered.”

To apply for funding, farmers must submit an application to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) which explains how their business has been affected.

Evidence

They must also provide evidence to show any damage caused by the flooding.

For applications covering damage where the applicant has already paid for repairs, farmers should provide copies of receipts and quotes to help the RPA process them as quickly as possible.

Farmers have until 31 March 2020 to submit an application for this funding.

NFU vice-president Stuart Roberts said the fund will be a relief to affected farmers who were now coping with a massive clear-up operation.

He said: “We will continue to work with Defra to ensure the scheme is implemented and farmers are able to apply for the funding they desperately need.”

Eligible farmers

Country Land and Business Association regional director Dorothy Fairburn urged eligible farmers and landowners to access the fund.

“It will enable farmers and landowners to reconstruct the landscape, allowing communities and the visitor economy to re-boot,” she said.

“We have been working closely with farming support organisations and the local MP to ensure a swift and robust response to this very difficult situation.

“The diverse nature and quality of this response exemplifies what resilience is all about.”

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