Extra £2m put into fund to help Yorkshire farmers recover from flooding

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A £2m fund to support farmers who suffered uninsurable damage to their property in the devastating floods in November has opened for applications today.

The Government confirmed in November it would extend its Farming Recovery Fund so farmers in parts of South Yorkshire could apply for grants between £500 and £25,000 to cover a number of repair costs, including removing debris, re-cultivation and replacing damaged field gates.

Flood warning sign. Photo: PA

Flood warning sign. Photo: PA

And the Farming Recovery Fund has now opened for applications from farmers with affected land in parts of South Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and the Midlands.

The fund first opened in September with £2m available to support farmers affected by flooding in North Yorkshire and Wainfleet in Lincolnshire over the summer. Today’s announcement brings the total funding available this year up to £4m, to help affected farmers get back on their feet.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said: “I saw first-hand the impacts of this devastating flooding myself when visiting farmers in Lincolnshire in November. I am delighted we’ve been able to extend our Farming Recovery Fund to cover farmers in parts of South Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and the Midlands who were hit with unprecedented weather last year.

“This scheme, coupled with the other measures we’ve announced, will help farmers get back on their feet.”

Rural Payments Agency Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said: “We recognise there has been severe and unprecedented weather this year, so the RPA is working hard to offer advice and support to affected farmers to complete their Farming Recovery Fund applications.

“The Farming Recovery Fund provides support to farmers following extreme flooding events, contributing to the costs of the clean-up operation and to uninsurable losses.

“While insurance will pay out for the majority of the damage, under the Farming Recovery Fund farmers will be able to apply for money to help cover unexpected costs – such as rebuilding fences and stone walls.”

Farmers who have already repaired damage caused by the flooding should keep records of all relevant evidence, including receipts and before and after photos, in order to help the RPA process eligible applications promptly.

The application window for flood affected farmers in North Yorkshire and Wainfleet in Lincolnshire which opened in September closes on March 21. The window for this extension of the fund will close on July 31, but farmers are encouraged to submit their applications when they are able.

A handbook has been published today on the Government website with full details of which areas are eligible, what is covered and how to apply for funding.