An emergency fund to help farmers affected by Storm Desmond to restore damaged agricultural land launches today (Friday 18 December 2015), Farming Minister George Eustice announced.
Flood-affected farmers in Cumbria, Lancashire and Northumberland who have suffered uninsurable losses can apply for Farming Recovery Fund grants of up to £20,000 via the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to help restore soils, rebuild tracks and repair flood channels.
Farming Minister George Eustice said:
I’m pleased to announce the Farming Recovery Fund has opened to help farmers caught up in the recent flooding.
Using satellite imagery from the Copernicus system, and working with the Environment Agency and National Farmers’ Union, we believe over 600 farms in Cumbria and surrounding counties have been affected.
We are determined to help these communities get back on their feet and this fund forms part of a wider £60 million package of government support for the area.
Full details on how to apply, including application forms and guidance are now available. Farmers wanting further advice on their application can call the Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.
Once all checks are completed, the RPA will aim to make payments against valid claims direct into bank accounts within five working days. The agency will pay out on all eligible claims and applications will close on 18 March 2016.
Who can apply?
Grants are available to any farm which:
- was trading on 1 December 2015
- depends upon farming (excluding diversification) to provide a significant contribution to the household income
- has been affected by the recent flooding from 5 December 2015
What type of work is covered?
Farmers affected by flooding will be able to claim grants of between £500 and £20,000 to cover the cost of restoring their farmland. This includes:
- The restoration of productive stock proof grassland
- The restoration of productive arable and horticultural land
- The restoration of field access or track ways, fencing or gates or water troughs
- The restoration of drainage on flood-damaged holdings
- Damage to agricultural machinery that cannot be insured
- Damage to agricultural buildings that cannot be insured
- Funding would include re-siting or re-location on the basis of improved positioning away from river edges, raising parapets or relocating to a less vulnerable access point in the field.
Eligible costs should:
- be up to 100% of agreed eligible costs
- not include insured losses or items that insurance should normally cover
- not cover beneficiaries’ / applicants’ time where actual costs are used
- not cover the formal obligations that farm businesses have in terms of the management of slurry or other activity that is the responsibility of Local Authorities
What should applicants supply?
Evidence of the damage suffered by your business – this could include: