Farming News - Government announces support for flood-hit farmers

Government announces support for flood-hit farmers

Flood-hit farmers in northern England will be able to apply for up to £25,000 in government grants to help them get back on their feet.

Aerial photo showing flooding at Woodhouse Washlands Nature Reserve, South Yorkshire

The aerial photo showing flooding at Woodhouse Washlands Nature Reserve, South Yorkshire

The government has announced that it will extend its Farming Recovery Fund to support farmers badly affected by the recent flooding across Yorkshire and the Midlands.

Through this scheme, farmers and land managers who have suffered uninsurable damage to their property will be able to apply for grants of between £500 and £25,000 to cover repair costs – whether that’s clearing debris or recovering damaged land.

This comes as Environment Agency teams continue to work around the clock in incident rooms and on the ground to reduce flood risk and keep communities safe.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said:

“My thoughts go out to all those affected by the devastating flooding across Yorkshire and the Midlands.

“We are providing more funding to support farmers impacted and help local communities get back on their feet.

“Earlier this week I visited Environment Agency teams on the ground in South Yorkshire as they work around the clock to reduce flooding risks and keep people safe.

“I would like to pay tribute to the dedication of these staff, alongside our Emergency Services and Armed Forces, who are working day and night to protect our farmers, local communities and businesses.”

Since the flooding began last Thursday, approximately 14,400 properties have been protected by flood defences, including nearly 5,000 properties in South Yorkshire alone. Over 300 Environment Agency staff are now on the ground in South Yorkshire supporting local communities affected.

Earlier this week the Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers visited Yorkshire to meet the EA teams working on the ground operating pumps, putting up temporary flood barriers and helping residents.

Yesterday the Prime Minister chaired a COBR briefing and this morning an additional 200 UK Armed Forces personnel have been deployed to South Yorkshire to help support the recovery effort.The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) yesterday announced a Community Recovery Grant to local councils – equivalent to £500 per eligible household – to  help communities with their immediate recovery. This comes after MHCLG last week activated the emergency Bellwin Scheme to reimburse eligible local authorities for the qualifying immediate costs they incur as part of their response to the flooding.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) also confirmed yesterday that funding would be made available for a Business Recovery Grant which will provide up to £2,500 per eligible small and medium-sized businesses which have suffered severe impacts from the floods that cannot be recovered from insurance.

CLA President Tim Breitmeyer said:

“The announcement shows that Government is listening and will come as a relief to many in rural areas. Farmers and landowners have been devastated by the destruction that has been caused by this flooding and it is vital that the money is made available quickly and easily.”