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Financial help for flooded communities

Published: 9 Jan 2016 10:15

£12 million boost to support severe weather recovery.

New funding of over £12 million will be made available to help areas affected by severe weather across Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today.

The funding is in addition to the £4 million announced by the Deputy First Minister in his budget statement, bringing the total package of support to over £16 million.

An extra £5.8 million will be made available to support households and business properties affected by flooding. The funding will be used by Local Authorities to provide every household, business premises or charity directly affected by flood water with a grant of £1,500.

Local Authorities which have suffered the most damage as a result of the flooding have been allocated a share of the fund, however, people in any part of Scotland who have suffered flood damage as a result of the severe weather can apply for a grant, with Scottish Government meeting the cost.

In addition to flood relief support, businesses whose ability to trade has been severely affected by flooding will be able to apply for an additional grant of £3,000 funded by the Scottish Government and administered by their Local Authority.

Extra capital funding of up to £5 million will also be made available to Local Authorities to replace infrastructure severely damaged by flood waters – including support for the reinstatement of the A93 between Ballater and Braemar.

An Agricultural Floodbank Restoration Grant Scheme of up to £1 million will also be made available to the farming community to seek financial support to restore damaged floodbanks and discussions will continue next week with the industry as to how government can support them through severe weather.

The First Minister travelled to Inverurie today to meet with people affected by floods, local business ownerswho offered support in the community and emergency responders.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

"The Scottish Government is committed to providing the support needed to help individuals, business and communities to recover from the damage caused by this unprecedented severe weather with additional support of more than £12 million.

"With this new funding, every household and business premises that has seen flood water damage will be able to claim a grant of £1,500 from their Local Authority. They can use this to replace lost or damage items or to take steps to help flood proof their home.

"We know that the weather has also impacted on business – that is why any business who has had their ability to trade impacted by the flooding will also be able to claim a £3,000 grant.

"And we are making further funding available to help local authorities restore damage to infrastructure caused by the recent storms.

"In the face of devastation Scotland's communities have rallied together and shown real strength. I have met with some local business owners who have made a real difference by offering vital support and once again I am amazed by the determination and dedication of all of our emergency services who are working around the clock to save homes and livelihoods.

"We do not yet have confirmation of consequentials coming from UK Government flood funds – however, now that the picture of those who need support is clearer, the Scottish Government is acting now to make sure that the people who need help get it."

For information on how to access funding, property owners should contact their relevant local authority from Monday.

Notes to editors

Allocations to Local Authorities:

Local Authority

Allocation in Dec 2015 (£m)

Allocation in Jan 2016 (£m)

Total (£m)

Dumfries and Galloway

0.7

1

1.7

Scottish Borders

1.94

0.45

2.39

Perth and Kinross

1.2

0.45

1.65

Stirling

0.06

0.06

South Lanarkshire

0.04

0.04

Aberdeenshire

2

2

City of Aberdeen

0.5

0.5

Angus

0.9

0.9

East Ayrshire

0.5

0.5

Totals

3.94

5.8

9.74

The Deputy First Minister announced in December 2015 that £3.94 million was being allocated to those local authority areas most affected by the severe flooding caused by Storm Desmond in early December in order to help them to support flood hit local households and businesses.

The Bellwin Scheme was triggered on 7 December 2015 as a result of Storm Desmond and on 30 December 2015 as a result of Storm Frank. The Bellwin Scheme remains active in the aftermath of the latest severe flooding in early January 2016.

The Bellwin Scheme allows Scottish Ministers to make additional revenue support to local authorities to assist with the immediate, and unforeseen costs in dealing with the aftermath of emergency incidents. It is a discretionary scheme, which exists to give special financial assistance to local authorities who would otherwise be faced with an undue financial burden as a result of providing relief and carrying out immediate work due to large-scale emergencies. Local authorities are expected to include a small amount (0.2 per cent) within their annual budget to deal with unforeseen emergencies and 100% of eligible costs above this threshold will be met.