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Flood-hit farmers offered financial lifeline with £2m Government recovery fund

Defra said farmers who had suffered ‘uninsurable damage to their property’ in summer could apply for grants between £500 and £25,000. 

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Flood-hit farmers offered financial lifeline with £2m Government recovery fund

Flood-hit farmers have been offered a financial lifeline through the reinstated £2 million Government recovery fund.

 

The Farming Recovery Fund will be open to farmers in parts of North Yorkshire, where the July rainfall was considered a one in 1,000 year event with 113mm of rain in just three hours, and Wainfleet, Lincolnshire, where two-and-a-half times the monthly average rainfall fell over three days in June.

 

Defra said farmers who had suffered ‘uninsurable damage to their property’ could apply for grants between £500 and £25,000 to cover non-insurable items, such as re-cultivation and reinstating field boundaries, as well as repair costs and farm restoration work.

 

Works will be funded up to 100 per cent and the reinstatement and repair will be in line with the economic value of the affected asset.

 

The scheme has three types of funding – quoted costs, where three quotes will confirm the market value for the work of £5,000 or more and two quotes for less than; and reference and standard costs, which have a published cost for the job.


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Farmers who are based in the relevant geographical areas will be asked to provide photographs and maps to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to show the impact of the events on their land.

 

For an application covering damage where the farmer has already paid for repairs, copies of receipts and quotes should also be provided.

 

RPA chief executive Paul Caldwell said: “The RPA, alongside the NFU and CLA, has worked hard to get this scheme up and running, and we will continue to offer advice and support to affected farmers to complete their applications.”

 

Relief

NFU vice president Stuart Roberts said members on the ground had made it clear ‘just how costly the clean-up is’, leaving some farmers with bills of tens of thousands of pounds.

 

He said the reinstatement of the Farming Recovery Fund would be a ‘huge relief’.

 

“These types of extreme and volatile weather events are becoming ever more frequent,” Mr Roberts said.

“We will continue to work with government to ensure it will take all necessary steps to protect productive farmland so farmers can continue to produce a supply of safe, traceable and affordable food for the nation, and protect and enhance our rural landscapes.”

 

CLA North director Dorothy Fairburn added the diverse nature and quality of the Government’s response exemplified ‘what resilience is all about’.

 

Farmers will have until March 31, 2020 at 5pm to submit an application to the RPA on frf@rpa.gov.uk. Applicants should put FRF 2019 and their business name in the subject box.

 

For more information, click here.

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