Local MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed the launch of a grant to help repair man-made floodbanks. 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 Dumfries and Galloway.
Speaking about the scheme Ms McAlpine said:
“I have been contacted by a number of local farmers who have been very badly affected by the recent weather and subsequent flooding. The volume of water that has fallen in Dumfries and Galloway has done untold damage to farmland in many areas, with the flood waters washing away many man-made flood defences.
“This is a valuable grant scheme that will provide swift financial support to help farmers repair the damage to their land, and I would urge all local farmers affected in this way to make an immediate application to the grant scheme.”
The Scottish Government has worked in partnership with NFU Scotland to develop a scheme that will deliver targeted help with minimal red tape. The scheme was launched today by Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead who 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.
“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.”
Applications for the Agricultural Floodbank Repair Grant Scheme should be made before the end of February. Application forms are available on the Rural Payments website.