Yorkshire homes and businesses hit by the recent devastating floods will be able to get up to £5,000 to protect them from similar events in future, The Yorkshire Post can reveal.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today that the grants will be made available through local authorities in South Yorkshire and the East Midlands from the end of November onwards.
Number 10 says the money will allow homes and businesses to become more resilient to flooding by helping pay for a range of property improvements.
This includes the additional costs of installing fittings and materials that increase resistance to damage from water in the future, such as putting in flood doors and raising electrics off ground level.
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The grants will be open to homes and businesses that have been seriously affected by flooding this autumn, including communities in South Yorkshire some which experienced a month’s worth of rain in a single day last week.
The Government has not yet revealed how much it is setting aside to fund the improvements, which will likely be claimed by hundreds of businesses and residents.
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers writes in The Yorkshire Post today: "We have seen record river levels and severe rainfall, but it is still very early this winter. That is why we are providing increased funding for homes and businesses to ensure that they have the protection they need.
"This will allow properties to become more resilient to flooding by helping to pay for a range of property improvements."
The measure is the latest announcement by the Government to support flood victims in South Yorkshire following criticism by opposition parties and local residents that the response had been too slow.
Labour and the Liberal Democrats said Mr Johnson should have declared a "national emergency".
Hundreds of homes were flooded in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, with thousands more affected, while a woman was swept to her death during what locals described as "biblical" rain earlier this month,
Last week Mr Johnson announced relief funding would be made available for those affected by the floods and said that funding for locals councils to help affected households would be made available to the tune of £500 per eligible household.
Up to £2,500 would be available for small to medium-sized businesses which have suffered severe impacts and which are not covered by insurance.
But the Prime Minister was accused of doing nothing to help flood victims as he took a break from electioneering to visit one of the worst hit areas last week.
One resident in flood-hit Stainforth in South Yorkshire told the Mr Johnson: "I'm not very happy about talking to you so, if you don't mind, I'll just mope on with what I'm doing."
The woman, clutching a wheelbarrow alongside the troops sent to the area to help, added: "You've not helped us up to press. I don't know what you're here today for."