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- Environment and climate change
More money for Agricultural Floodbank Repair Grant Scheme.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead today announced that up to an additional £1 million will be made available to fund the Agricultural Floodbank Repair Scheme due to the level of demand from farmers who applied while the scheme was open in February.
Mr Lochhead made the announcement during a visit to the Aberdeenshire town of Ballater, which was badly affected by floods caused by Storms Desmond and Frank. He also revealed that since January more than £1 million of Scottish Government grant funding has been paid out to households and businesses directly affected by the flooding in Aberdeenshire.
"Ballater has suffered badly as a result of the recent flooding and it's good to know that already more than £1 million of the funding provided by the Scottish Government has been paid out by the local council to households and businesses that were affected, and Aberdeenshire Council is still working its way through applications.
"What struck me on my visit here today was the great sense of community spirit Ballater has – everyone is rallying around to help others and that's a really fantastic thing to see during difficult times.
"And it's great news that there is now up to £2 million available in the Agricultural Floodbank Repair Grant Scheme to cover the standard costs of repairs to man-made floodbanks on farms which were affected by flooding in nine local authorities during December and early January."
Cllr Richard Thomson of Aberdeenshire Council said:
"The council has established a flood recovery group which is identifying works and overseeing the delivery of this programme. The estimated list of work so far totals around £7.6 million. Whilst the council will make use of its emergency funds, we're also very grateful to the Scottish Government for their additional financial support.
"I would like to pay tribute to the workforce who stepped up and continue to support communities across Aberdeenshire with a busy programme of repair work. The demands placed upon them have been immense but they have risen to the challenge."
The Scottish Government announced £16 million of support to flood-hit areas earlier this year, with £2 million being allocated to Aberdeenshire Council. The funding ensures that every household, business or charity directly affected by the flooding receive a grant of £1500. It also includes £5m for infrastructure repair, including support for the re-instatement of the A93 between Ballater and Braemar. In addition, businesses whose ability to trade have been affected can apply for an additional £3000, funded by the Scottish Government and administered by their local authority.
Farmers should not to start repair work until their funding has been approved – letters confirming this will be sent out in the coming weeks. The additional funding is available to farmers who have already applied for the scheme – no new applications will be accepted at this stage.
The extra money will ensure that farmers who are eligible for support under the scheme will receive funding up to a cap of £20,000. The level of uptake had meant that a reduction in the maximum amount per applicant was being considered in order to remain within the original budget. This new funding will provide much needed additional support for farmers to repair the damage caused by the exceptional weather experienced in December and January.
For more information on the scheme please see http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Flood-funding-available-2214.aspx