News story

Chancellor pledges £1 million for a new helicopter for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance

New funding for Yorkshire Air Ambulance from banking fines.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance in action in Huddersfield

The Chancellor has pledged £1 million towards funding a new helicopter for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, whilst visiting the charity with Yorkshire and England opening batsman Geoffrey Boycott.

The funding will ensure the air ambulance can continue to cover the whole of Yorkshire, providing a critical care service across the region as part of its 999 emergency response service.

Take a look at our interactive map showing the air ambulances that have received funding from banking fines.

This funding is from fines levied on banks, and brings the total given to air ambulances across the country to over £10 million in the past year. It is part of more than £500 million from banking fines pledged by the Chancellor to support military good causes and emergency service charities since 2012.

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

Geoffrey Boycott asked the government for support, and I am delighted to able to donate £1 million towards funding a new helicopter for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

It’s a brilliant charity that saves lives across Yorkshire, a county very much at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.

This funding – and the £10 million the government has donated to Air Ambulances across the country in the past year – comes from fines levied on banks, and it’s only right that funds from those who have demonstrated the worst values should go to those, like the dedicated and skilled air ambulance crews and their supporters who demonstrate the best of British values on a daily basis.

Geoffrey Boycott said:

Yorkshire Air Ambulance is a much needed charity servicing the 5 million of us here in ‘God’s own country’.

They need to raise £12,000 a day to keep both helicopters maintained and in the air and a lot of their support currently comes from those they have helped or a relative.

But the truth is none of us know when we, or a loved one, may have a life or death situation and need their assistance.

We recently managed to raise over £34,000 for the charity at a fundraising dinner. But we also wanted to raise awareness that contrary to public belief our air ambulance needs help from the residents it services to keep going.

I also wrote to the Chancellor and today is a fantastic response to that letter. I know the people of Yorkshire will join in with us to say a very big thank you.

Peter Sunderland, Chairman of Yorkshire Air Ambulance, said:

News of this additional funding is hugely welcome and will allow the Charity to develop the process of replacing our oldest MD902 Explorer. In recent years maintenance and operational costs for our 16 year-old helicopter G-SASH have risen sharply.

We have been working hard over the last few years to build our reserves, to ensure that when the time is right, we will be able to provide the people of Yorkshire with a brand new, state of the art helicopter with the latest medical equipment and facilities.

This generous donation from the Chancellor will put us in an ideal position to consolidate and look at the options which will ensure the continuation of this life-saving service for the next 25 years.

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is funded primarily through voluntary donations but we must express our sincere thanks to the government who recently granted each of the 20 Air Ambulances across the UK £250,000 from the Libor fund.

We are also grateful to receive this additional support which in tandem with the beneficial changes to VAT regulations from 1 April 2015 which will maximise the amount of funds we have available to put to good use for the operation of our two helicopters.

Published 25 August 2015