Floods: Government Assistance

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered at on 9 May 2024.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many applications were (a) made and (b) rejected to access funding under schemes within the flood recovery framework in the last two years; what total amount was that has been paid out through the flood recovery framework; and how many and what proportion of applicants received the maximum pay out of £25,000 under the flood recovery framework.

Photo of Simon Hoare Simon Hoare Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

In the last two years the Flood Recovery Framework has been activated twice – following Storm Babet in October 2023 and Storm Henk in January 2024. The decision to accept or reject applications for flood recovery funding is made by local authorities who are responsible for administrating all schemes, apart from the Farming Recovery Fund. To date, eligible local authorities have made payments of over £7.8 million to 8,510 impacted households and businesses. We expect this figure to rise substantially as further payments are made over the next 18 months.

With regards to the specific question on the £25,000 available under the Farming Recovery Fund scheme. DEFRA have only opened this once within the last two years on 9 April 2024 to provide farmers support to recover from uninsurable damage. The scheme provides grants of between £500 and £25,000 to return land to the condition it was before exceptional flooding of Storm Henk. The fund was initially opened in nine English local authority areas, however, DEFRA committed actively to review the areas to be included in the fund. Those farmers who were initially identified as eligible farmers have been contacted directly by Rural Payments Agency. DEFRA will be contacting all eligible farmers following completion of our review.

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