Floodbank repair grants on offer

Farmers affected by recent floods will be able to apply for grants to help repair man-made floodbanks from today, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has confirmed.

Monday, 1st February 2016, 3:35 pm
Updated Monday, 1st February 2016, 3:42 pm
NFU AGM&. A new top table team was voted in at the annual general meeting of NFU Scotland in St Andrews yesterday. Stepping up to the presidential post is Fife farmer, Alan Bowie who had been a vice president for the past five years. In the three-horse race for the top position, he narrowly pipped North-east candidate, Andrew Moir at the post. Rob Livesey, from Catshawhill, Melrose, although unsuccessful in his presidential bid, went on to be voted back in as one of the unions two vice presidents. Dumfriesshire farmer, Andrew McCornick was elected to the second vice presidential post. It was also announced at the AGM that Nigel Miller, who stood down after serving his full four-year span as president, will take up the position of chairman of a new industry initiative, Livestock Health Scotland. Revealing the news, Scottish Cabinet Secretary, Richard Lochhead said he was delighted that Miller would soon be heading up the programme aimed at promoting further improvements in animal health in Scotla

The Agricultural Floodbank Repair Grant Scheme was announced by the First Minister earlier this year, with £1 million being set aside to fund the repair of man-made floodbanks on farms in nine local authorities, including the Scottish Borders.

Scottish Government worked with NFU Scotland to develop a scheme that will deliver targeted help with minimal red tape.

Mr Lochhead said: “Farmers who require support to restore man-made floodbanks on their farms can now apply for the Agricultural Floodbank Repair Grant Scheme. This scheme is made up of £1 million funding and will cover the standard costs of repairs, up to a cap of £20,000 per business, and cover farmers affected by flooding in nine local authorities during December and early January.

Sign up to our daily The Southern Reporter Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I also recently announced a number of measures to complement this scheme, including flexibility on greening and cross compliance rules, following a visit to a farm in Perthshire, where it was jaw dropping to see the scale and impact of the flooding.

“SEPA will also take a pragmatic approach while farmers turn their efforts to getting things back to normal.”

NFUS president Allan Bowie said: “This scheme, requested by NFUS, offers welcome support to flood-hit farmers.

“I urge those with damaged floodbanks to apply before the deadline closes at the end of February with applications to be approved shortly after.

“It is important to note that grant approval will be needed prior to any repair works commencing. Farmers should apply to the scheme as soon as possible.”

Applications for the Agricultural Floodbank Repair Grant Scheme are available online at https://www.ruralpayments.org/publicsite/futures/topics/all-schemes/floodbank-repair-scheme/.

The deadline for returning the completed application forms (along with supporting evidence) by email to [email protected] is Monday, February 29.