News story

Winter 2015 to 2016 floods: government response

Flooding in northern England: government information and advice about support available.

River clearance

Government departments, councils and the Environment Agency are working together to respond to the flooding during the winter of 2015 to 2016 across the North of England, and to help communities recover.

Read all the current government information and advice about support available.

The Floodline Service on 0345 988 1188 helps people affected by the recent floods. Before calling, please read our guidance for households and businesses or farmers.

Latest announcements

There’s a list of all relevant government announcements on GOV.UK.

Check for flood warnings

You should continue to check your flood risk and keep up to date by following @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter.

If you’re in Scotland please check the warnings on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency website. If you’re in Wales alerts are available from Natural Resources Wales. Information is also available for anyone in Northern Ireland.

Government support for homes, businesses, farmers and councils

In total the government’s investment in recovery from Storm Eva and Storm Desmond now amounts to nearly £200 million.

Households and businesses

The Floodline Service on 0345 988 1188 helps people affected by the recent floods. Before calling, please read our guidance for households and businesses or farmers.

We are:

  • helping the people directly affected by the floods – providing local authorities with over £500 for each household affected; for example, to help with temporary accommodation costs whilst we work to get people back into their homes

  • support people as they protect their homes against future floods by providing grants of up to £5000, so they can install new flood barriers, replace doors and windows with water resistant alternatives, or move electricity sockets up to a safer level

  • ensuring flood affected businesses that have had their trading disrupted can get back on their feet, with funding equivalent to £2,500 provided to local authorities for each business affected

  • ensuring that flood affected communities will not face Council Tax or business rates bills for their homes and businesses for as long as they are out of their properties

Farmers

Farmers affected by the recent flooding in Cumbria, Northumberland, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Durham can get grants worth up to £20,000 to help restore damaged agricultural land under the Farming Recovery Fund. Farmers experiencing difficulties getting online can call the Rural Payments helpline on 03000 200 301.

The Rural Payments Agency has published guidance about farm inspections, animal movements, TB testing, impacts on Basic Payment Scheme eligibility, and other Cross Compliance requirements.

The NFU has produced a newsletter for members affected by the flooding in the North East and North West. It contains information on where advice and funding is available to help with the recovery operation.

Local authorities

We have opened the Bellwin scheme for councils affected by floods resulting from storms Desmond and Eva. Under this scheme, councils can apply to have 100% of their costs above threshold reimbursed by the government.

Roads, transport and flood defences

We have announced that we will provide £40 million of funding to help repair flood-damaged roads and bridges in Cumbria and Lancashire. We have also announced £3.3 million for Tadcaster bridges and £5.5 million to repair Elland Bridge in Calderdale.

We’re providing an additional £10 million so that the Environment Agency can repair flood defences that were damaged by Storm Desmond and we have announced a package of more than £40 million to rebuild and improve flood defences in the aftermath of Storm Eva. Of this, £10 million will be reserved to improve the Foss Barrier protecting York, which was overwhelmed at the height of Storm Eva. The other £30 million will be spent repairing defences on the Wharfe, Calder, Aire, Ouse and Derwent. It will include repairs to pumping and barriers and clearing blockages in rivers.

Tourism

The Prime Minister announced, on 28 January 2016, a support package to boost tourism across flood-hit north.

Charities

The government will support charities helping those caught up in each of the two recent storms by matching every pound of the first £2 million raised in each case. Applications for Storm Desmond or Storm Eva can be made by any registered charities currently running a fundraising appeal for flood relief to benefit each of the affected areas. The deadline for applications is 5 February 2016.

Sports facilities

Sport England has an emergency flood relief fund now amounting to £400,000 to help people repair sports pitches and facilities destroyed by this winter’s unprecedented rainfall. This will help clubs, local authorities and other community sports organisations in affected areas to help pay for emergency repairs to damaged facilities such as rugby and cricket pitches, water sports centres, pavilions, changing rooms and floodlights.

Government action on flood defences

Flood defences helped to protect 11,000 homes across the north of England, and provided vital time for homes and businesses to be evacuated as well as reducing the impact.

Over the next 6 years we will be investing £2.3 billion in flood defences which is a real terms increase on the £1.7 billion invested in the last Parliament. This in turn is a real terms increase on the £1.5 billion spent between 2005 and 2010.

In addition, flood maintenance spending will be protected in real terms over this Parliament.

Flood insurance

The insurance industry is responding with help for homeowners. The Association of British Insurers has published a film on how to protect your home if you live in a flood prone area, or make a claim if you’re recovering from a flood. You can find more information on the Association’s website.

Flood insurance: protecting your home and making a claim

Health

Guidance on recovering from floods:

Advice and information

Met Office

For the latest weather warnings visit the Met Office website or follow them on Twitter: @MetOffice.

Highways England

For advice on travel by road visit the Highways England website or follow them on Twitter: @HighwaysEngland.

National Rail

Check with National Rail Enquiries for the latest updates on service disruptions.

Published 8 December 2015
Last updated 29 January 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated with the weekend forecast from the Environment Agency.
  2. Updated with today's forecast from the Environment Agency
  3. Added link to today's announcement by the Prime Minister.
  4. Updated with today's forecast from the Environment Agency.
  5. Updated with a link to today's forecasts and warnings from the Environment Agency.
  6. Updated with Environment Agency forecast and Defra statement from 25 January.
  7. Updated with today's flood warning from the Environment Agency.
  8. Updated with today's announcement of £5.5 million to repair Elland Bridge in Calderdale.
  9. Updated with confirmation that the Farming Recovery Fund cover farmers in Durham hit by Storm Desmond or Storm Eva
  10. Updated with clearer links to guidance for households and businesses, and with today's announcement about charitable funding.
  11. Updated with today's announcement of £3.3 million for Tadcaster bridges.
  12. Updated with today's Environment Agency forecast.
  13. Updated with today's forecast from the Environment Agency.
  14. Updated with today's news from the Environment Agency.
  15. Added details of Floodline telephone number for recovery advice.
  16. Updated with today's forecast from the Environment Agency.
  17. Updated with today's forecast from the Environment Agency.
  18. Updated with today's forecasts from the Environment Agency.
  19. Updated with today's press notice from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.
  20. Updated with the Prime Minister's announcement of more than £40 million for flood defences.
  21. Updated with today's forecast from the Environment Agency.
  22. Updated with today's Environment Agency update.
  23. Updated with confirmation of further funding for businesses.
  24. Updated with today's Environment Agency updates.
  25. Updated: Farming Recovery Fund extended to all parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire.
  26. Updated with today's warnings from the Environment Agency.
  27. Updated following the announcement of £50 million extra funding to support households and businesses affected by floods.
  28. Updated with today's warning from the Environment Agency to prepare for further flooding.
  29. Today's updates added, also details of Sport England recovery scheme.
  30. Updated with today's statement.
  31. Latest updates added.
  32. Updated with today's warning from the Environment Agency.
  33. This morning's updates have been added.
  34. Updated with this evening's latest statement from Elizabeth Truss.
  35. Updated with today's Environment Agency severe flood warnings.
  36. Today's announcements added.
  37. Today's announcements added.
  38. Latest update from the Environment Agency added.
  39. Updated with 23 December update from Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss.
  40. Updated the current situation and information for farmers.
  41. Information added about the recovery fund for flood-affected farmers.
  42. Further details added about flood recovery scheme payments to households.
  43. Updated information about government support, and latest announcements.
  44. Updated with further announcement.
  45. Updated with further announcements.
  46. More announcements added from 11 December 2015.
  47. Added today's update on flooding.
  48. Updated the 'Latest situation' section and linked to recent updates.
  49. Added 10 December update.
  50. Additional government support schemes included.
  51. Added information about the support available to farmers.
  52. Added information about the extra funding announced.
  53. Updated the 'Latest situation' section and linked to recent updates.
  54. First published.