Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, Richard Lockheed, has announced a further £1 million funding to help those affected by recent flooding.
Due to the level of demand from farmers who applied to the Agricultural Floodbank Repair Scheme in February, Mr Lochhead announced the extension on visit to the Aberdeenshire town of Ballater, which was badly affected by floods caused by Storms Desmond and Frank.
He revealed since January more than £1 million of Scottish Government grant funding has been paid out to households and businesses directly affected by the flooding in Aberdeenshire.
He said: "It’s good to know that already more than £1 million of the funding provided by the Scottish Government has been paid out by the local council to households and businesses that were affected, and Aberdeenshire Council is still working its way through applications.
“What struck me on my visit here today was the great sense of community spirit Ballater has – everyone is rallying around to help others and that’s a really fantastic thing to see during difficult times.
“And it’s great news that there is now up to £2 million available in the Agricultural Floodbank Repair Grant Scheme to cover the standard costs of repairs to man-made floodbanks on farms which were affected by flooding in nine local authorities during December and early January.”
Councillor Richard Thomson of Aberdeenshire Council paid tribute to the workforce who are continuing to support Aberdeenshire communities through their repair work.
He said: “The council has established a flood recovery group which is identifying works and overseeing the delivery of this programme. The estimated list of work so far totals around £7.6 million.
"Whilst the council will make use of its emergency funds, we’re also very grateful to the Scottish Government for their additional financial support."
NFU Scotland’s Deputy Director of Policy, Andrew Bauer commented, stating NFU Scotland welcomes the Cabinet Secretary’s announcement of additional funding.
He saidL “Given the unprecedented scale of the flooding this winter, it is unsurprising that the scheme was so heavily oversubscribed, reflecting the widespread damage to agricultural floodbanks in many parts of Scotland.
“Knowing the level of uptake, NFU Scotland encouraged the Scottish Government to dig a bit deeper to find additional funding to meet the shortfall, and today’s announcement is good news for our flood-hit farmers.”
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