Press release

First £1 million paid to help recovery of flood-hit farmers

Over £1 million has been paid out by the government to more than 180 flood-hit farmers to help their business recovery after last winter’s storms.

Image of a fallen tree during flooding

In total more than £9 million will be allocated to over 1000 farmers across Northern England as part of the Farming Recovery Fund set up by the government. The fund formed part of the response to the unprecedented flooding seen across the region last December in the wake of Storms Desmond and Eva.

The funds have helped farmers to bring their land back to agricultural production through:

  • Mending and replacing fences, stone walls and gates,
  • Clearing debris deposited on land,
  • Restoring damaged river banks, and
  • Reinstating field access.

Farming Minister George Eustice said:

The Farming Recovery Fund was set up as part of a wider £250 million package of government support set up to help communities affected by the devastating December floods.

I am delighted that over £1 million of repairs have been completed and reimbursed by the government, helping flood-affected farmers get their businesses back on track to contribute to a thriving rural economy and world-leading food and farming industry. ‪

‪RPA Chief Executive Mark Grimshaw said:

I am pleased that we have been able to play our part in delivering the Farming Recovery Fund, approving applications that will help farmers recover from the effects of last year’s winter floods.

With over £1 million already paid to farmers who have claimed, I would encourage those who have had their applications approved, to send their claims for completed work to us before the end of December deadline.

All farmers who applied to the Farming Recovery Fund have been notified of the outcome of their application. Claims for completed repair work must be submitted to the RPA by 31 December 2016. Any farmer who is unable to meet the December deadline due to exceptional circumstances should contact the Rural Services Helpline.

Grants of up to £20,000 were available to farmers in Cumbria, Lancashire and Northumberland, Yorkshire, County Durham and Greater Manchester. In total, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) received over 1100 applications by the close of the application window on 15 April 2016. Farmers who have completed their repairs need to fill in the Farming Recovery Fund claim form, with the required evidence and submit to the RPA.

Image of farm land before and after flood recovery

ENDS

Notes to editors

Case study – JD & V Towers & Son, Camp House Farm, Farleton, Hornby, Lancaster, Lancashire:

Storm Desmond caused major flooding at Camp House Farm with unprecedented levels of water covering the land. It was assessed that at least 50% of the Applicant’s land was impacted by the flooding event.

The floods damaged and destroyed a vast amount of fencing – 1,500m, 5 field gates and gate posts. A considerable amount of debris was also deposited on the land which needed to be removed. Work also had to be undertaken to rebuild the washed out river banks, repair a blocked pipe, bridge and track.

The Applicant was awarded a grant of £20,000.00 under the Farming Recovery Fund. All of the work except for 60m of replacement sheep netting was completed under contract.

Full guidance is available on GOV.UK

Rural Services helpline number - 03000 200 301

Applications Approved by County Number Value £
Cumbria 559 5,525,862
Yorkshire 244 1,764,468
Lancashire 149 1,158,875
Northumberland 61 479,607
County Durham 15 128,411
Greater Manchester 7 59,381
Total 1035 9,116,604

Media enquiries:

Wayne Coles, Media Manager, Rural Payments Agency, tel: 01189 687 959, wayne.coles@rpa.gsi.gov.uk

Published 6 September 2016