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

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 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.


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


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


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.