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UK floods 2014: government response and recovery

Government information and advice about the recovery schemes and support available following flooding in parts of the UK.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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environment agency staff talking to resident

Government departments, local authorities and agencies are working together to do everything they can to help communities recover from the extreme weather during winter 2013 to 2014.

Flood recovery schemes for communities and businesses

The winter of 2013 to 2014 was the wettest on record with over 7,800 homes and nearly 3,000 commercial properties flooded. To date about £14 million has already been paid out to help communities recover and to meet the costs of protecting lives and properties in the future, with a further £183.5 million due to be paid to local authorities by the end of March.

Repair and renew grant

A repair and renew grant of up to £5,000 each for all affected homeowners and businesses to top up any money received from insurers and make sure flood resilience is built into repairs was launched on 1 April. Read more details on how to apply for the repair and renew grant.

Other schemes include:

  • the business support scheme - a £10 million fund to support businesses to develop and implement business recovery plans
  • business rate relief - an estimated £9 million to give all affected businesses 100% business rate relief for 3 months and to give them an extra 3 months to pay the business taxes they owe to HMRC as they get back on their feet
  • a support fund for coastal tourism businesses - £2 million to provide practical assistance to coastal areas to help them boost summer trade
  • the Council Tax discount scheme - funding of up to £6 million to enable councils to cover Council Tax discounts for flood hit households for at least 3 months
  • the enhanced Bellwin scheme - to give help to local authorities incurring expenditure above the usual qualifying threshold
  • the farming flood recovery fund - £10 million which will provide grants of up to £5,000 to support farm businesses to bring flooded land back into production as quickly as possible
  • the severe weather recovery scheme - an £86.5 million fund to help speed the recovery in affected areas, including fixing the most damaged roads

See all the flood support schemes and funding available from central government and get details on how to apply.

Flood insurance

Insurers have arranged temporary alternative accommodation for over 2,100 households and loss adjusters have made over 6,500 visits to flooded properties to assess the damage, organise emergency payments and get drying out repairs started as quickly as possible.

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

The major banks have made a total commitment in excess of £750 million to provide financial support to business and individual customers affected by the floods.

Government action on flood defences

Since early December 2013, flood defences have protected more than 1.3 million properties from flooding. These flood defences are currently being inspected by the Environment Agency with help from the military. A total funding package of £270 million has been made available to repair or maintain flood defences, including £10 million for Somerset.

Locations of flood defences
Action to repair damaged flood defences

Ongoing risk of groundwater flooding and most likely flooding scenario

The Environment Agency expects the situation to continue to improve a risk of groundwater flooding remains, particularly in the south of England and the Thames Valley. All agencies are working closely together to protect property and critical infrastructure.

groundwater flooding overview
Most likely scenario for groundwater flooding

Find out if your area is at risk of flooding with the Environment Agency Live Flood Warning map.

environment agency staff inspecting water levels


£183.5 million has been given to local authorities for local highway repair and emergency maintenance. The government has also allocated £2 million to help repair small English ports.

All rail routes damaged in the storms have been repaired and reopened except Barmouth to Pwllheli in Wales which is expected to reopen on 19 May.


Public Health England continues to support the response and recovery operation and has published guidance on recovering from the floods.

Advice and information

Environment Agency

For advice on the risk of flooding in your area and how to prepare, visit the Environment Agency’s website or follow them on Twitter: @EnvAgency.

Met Office

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

Highways Agency

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

National Rail

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

Who to call if you have a power cut

Your chosen electricity provider sells you energy, but it’s your local distribution network operator who maintains the power lines that connect your home or business to the network.

Take a look now and make a note of the number of the company that covers your area in case you need to use it at some stage. Further information: Who to call when you have a power cut.

Flood representatives

Ministerial representatives for flood hit areas have been appointed to:

  • understand the impact of the floods in affected areas
  • track progress towards recovery and report directly to the Prime Minister
  • assess the effectiveness of multi-agency joint working in each affected area (for both response and recovery)
  • identify lessons learned and ensure work is underway to improve resilience for winter 2014 to 2015

The ministerial representatives are:

  • Somerset and Wiltshire - Owen Paterson MP
  • Cornwall - Dan Rogerson MP
  • Devon and Dorset - Oliver Letwin MP
  • Thames Valley (inc Surrey Gold) - Philip Hammond MP
  • Gloucestershire and Worcestershire - Susan Kramer MP
  • South London (excluding lower Thames) - Ed Davey MP
  • Kent, inland Sussex, and Thames estuary - Greg Clark MP
  • East Anglia and Suffolk Coast - Matthew Hancock MP
  • North East - Robert Goodwill MP
  • South East Coast (inc Sussex Coast, Isle of Wight) and Hampshire - Greg Barker MP
  • North West - Esther McVey MP

Government announcements

Monday 28 April

Thursday 24 April

Friday 14 April

Friday 4 April

Tuesday 1 April

Friday 31 March

Friday 14 March

Sunday 9 March

Thursday 6 March

Saturday 1 March

Thursday 27 February

Tuesday 25 February

Monday 24 February

Thursday 20 February

Wednesday 19 February

Tuesday 18 February

Monday 17 February

Sunday 16 February

Saturday 15 February

Thursday 13 February

Wednesday 12 February

Tuesday 11 February

Monday 10 February

Sunday 9 February

Saturday 8 February

Friday 7 February

Thursday 6 February

Wednesday 5 February

Published 14 February 2014
Last updated 7 May 2014 + show all updates
  1. Added flood representative details
  2. Added latest Defra press notice
  3. Added latest press releases
  4. Added the flood recovery scheme infographic
  5. Added information on the extension of the Council Tax discount
  6. Added infographic showing progress made and take up of the flood recovery schemes at 7 April 2014.
  7. Updated transport section as Dawlish railway line is now reopen
  8. Added 14 March 'Update on funding for flood-affected businesses' announcement.
  9. Government announces extra money for councils to repair local roads following recent prolonged period of severe weather.
  10. Added link to Eric Pickles’ update following the final COBR meeting.
  11. Added link to 'Flood support schemes: funding available from central government' under flood recovery and updated image.
  12. New action plan to protect Somerset from flooding
  13. Added 'government recovery' to page.
  14. Added update following 27 February COBR meeting
  15. Farming Flood Recovery Fund details added
  16. Added Eric Pickles' written statement to Parliament on 24 February
  17. Details of flood support package announced
  18. Updated with information about Council Tax refunds for flood hit households
  19. Added details of Insurance industry flood response meeting
  20. £10 million package for flood affected small businesses
  21. David Cameron's statement added following the COBR meeting on Saturday 15 February
  22. Repair and renew grant available from next week - week starting Monday 17 February
  23. Added Bellwin form
  24. New version of the page with changed URL
  25. First published.