Friday, 18 December 2015

Flood Recovery Grants Now Available

Central government has announced that local authorities will be provided with Community Grants as part of the Communities and Business Recovery Scheme. This will be equivalent to over £500 per household to help with recovery costs, such as provision of temporary accommodation.

All households in Lancaster, Wyre and the Ribble Valley that were flooded in recent storms will automatically receive a minimum payment of £500 from funding provided to Lancashire by central government.

And small and medium sized businesses severely affected by the floods can also apply for financial recovery assistance.

Council officers from Lancaster, Wyre and the Ribble Valley have been working hard to identify flooded properties. Every household identified will receive the £500 payment through their district council or the county council.

Those residents in greater need may be eligible for further support from the same fund. Eligibility details and application forms are available at the Lancashire Community Foundation's dedicated website www.lancsfloodappeal.org.uk. The Lancashire Community Foundation is administering this element of the funding on behalf of Lancashire County Council.

Non-farming businesses who have been severely affected can apply to the same fund through Boost Business Lancashire, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership's Growth Hub. Guidance and application forms are available at the website: www.boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk (Farming businesses will be supported through a separate scheme run by DEFRA.)

Martin Kelly, Director of Economic Development at Lancashire County Council, who is chairing the Strategic Recovery Co-ordinating Group, said: "All agencies are working extremely hard to get residents and businesses back to normality following last weekend’s devastating floods. We know what a distressing time this is and it is our absolute priority to get people back in their homes and business back on their feet. A key part of that is to ensure that the flood recovery funds made available by central government get to residents and businesses as soon as possible."

These grants are part of a package of support available to businesses and residents, including business rate and council tax relief, for which applications should be made to the relevant district council.

Further information for Households 

Council officers from Lancaster City Council, Wyre Borough Council and Ribble Valley Borough Council have been working to identify flooded properties. They have currently identified 420 properties across the three districts. Identified households will receive a payment of £500 from the scheme and do not have to apply.

In addition to those flat £500 payments, which will be administered by the district councils and the county council, those households in greatest need can also apply to the Lancashire Community Foundation for additional support.

• Applications can be made directly online at: https://ukcf.secure.force.com/forms/Lancashirefloodrecovery or by visiting www.lancsfloodappeal.org.uk 

This scheme for those in greatest need can provide support for cleaning up, emergency repairs, clothing, food and drink, heating and equipment, child care equipment, basic furniture. This is not an exhaustive list. Priority will be given to households with people over 70, children under the age of five, people with low incomes, people with physical or learning disabilities or mental health needs (eg those receiving Disability Living Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Attendance Allowance or Personal Independent Payment). The scheme will not normally fund vehicles or people who are fully insured (unless they have additional costs which are not covered).

Information for Charities and Community Groups 

Constituted community groups and registered charities can also apply for funding via the Lancashire Flood Appeal for emergency response work and as well as clean-up projects via www.lancsfloodappeal.org.uk

In addition to the Government's Communities and Business Recovery Scheme, the Lancashire Community Foundation is also expecting to raise more than £250,000, to directly support individuals and families in hardship and vital community organisations and resident groups in the areas affected by Storm Desmond. It provides emergency response support and clean-up support via charitable donations and grants.

Further information for Businesses

This scheme is available for small and medium sized businesses (up to 250 fulltime equivalent employees) in Lancashire flooded during the heavy rain of December 2015 which were trading on 5th December 2015 and were severely affected by the flood (either directly or indirectly).

The grants are not intended to cover losses incurred by the flooding which should have been covered by insurance but rather to support businesses in their recovery. Examples of the support companies can apply for include paying for specialist expertise to help plan clean up and recovery; marketing expenses; interest relief; training; and other revenue expenditure.

An application form and guidance are downloadable from the Boost Business Lancashire site www.boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk. Boost gateway staff will be available to help businesses complete the form. Once the claim is approved payment will be made electronically.

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