Flood-hit Yorkshire Dales farmers will get financial support as government announces £2m fund

Two bridges were swept away in the Yorkshire Dales as "unprecedented" rainfall led to flash flooding
Two bridges were swept away in the Yorkshire Dales as "unprecedented" rainfall led to flash flooding
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Farmers in the Yorkshire Dales whose businesses were devastated by flash flooding will be able to access a share of £2m in government funding to help them get back on their feet.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers announced last night that funding will be made available as part of a package of measures designed to help the victims of the recent flooding around the country.

It will be available through a scheme modelled on the Farming Recovery Fund which operated in 2015/16 for farmers in Cumbria to claim for uninsurable losses incurred as a result of the heavy rain and flooding.

The Yorkshire Post revealed yesterday that North Yorkshire County Council had written to the Minister asking for financial support after the "unprecedented" rainfall hit the areas of Swaledale and Arkengarthdale.

Read more: Exclusive: North Yorkshire council bosses' plea to Environment Secretary over emergency funding for flood-hit Dales farmers

Read more: Rishi Sunak: The ‘deeply moving’ school visit that sparked Yorkshire MP’s campaign

Describing the devastating impact on farmers, the letter describes the “significant hit to the infrastructure of their farms, including outbuildings”.

Up to 20 local farms in the Dales are expected to apply for the funding, as well as those around the Lincolnshire town of Wainfleet which was flooded in June.

The Department for Transport will also be providing £3m to pay for the cost of repairing the bridges on Grinton Moor and near Cogden Beck which were swept away in the floods. Work has already started on putting in temporary bridges so residents don't have to go 60 minutes out of their way.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “Yorkshire has seen some of the worst of the recent spell of bad weather and drivers have faced significant and frustrating diversions following damage to local infrastructure.

“This investment will allow North Yorkshire to get started on the repairs as quickly as possible, so that communities can return to normal.”

As part of the same funding package, the Government's emergency Bellwin scheme has been activated so local councils like Richmondshire and North Yorkshire can be reimbursed for extra costs spent on items including rest centres, temporary accommodation and staff overtime.

Richmond MP Rishi Sunak, who was recently appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “I have spent the last week with Ministers across Whitehall to secure these funds and ensure our community can recover from the impact of last week’s flash-flooding as soon as possible.

“The relief work on the ground has been superb and it is right that central government should back that up to the greatest extent possible.

“The people of Swaledale and Wensleydale have shown their resilience and community spirit and I am delighted to have delivered the financial assistance to help them recover from what in many instances has been a disaster.”