Grants available for agricultural floodbank repair

Flooding in Perthshire. Photographer - Matt Cartney. Crown Copyright.
Norette Ferns

Farmers affected by recent floods can now apply for 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: Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Perth and Kinross, Stirling, South Lanarkshire, Aberdeenshire, City of Aberdeen, Angus and East Ayrshire.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard 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.

"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:

"Flooding has taken a terrible toll on farmland across Scotland with the severity and ferocity of the floods taking out many long-established flood defences. 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."

Terry A’Hearn, Chief Executive of SEPA, said:

"SEPA understands the hardship and damage caused by the recent floods. I welcome the introduction of this grant scheme, and I’d like to take this opportunity to clarify that SEPA does not need to be contacted for the repair of man-made flood banks. Our officers continue to be on standby to assist farmers where required."

Visit the Rural Payments and Services website for more information about the scheme and to apply.

The deadline for applications is 29 February, however, if farmers are in a position to apply in advance of the end of this window the Scottish Government would encourage them to do so in order that checks on applications can be made with a view to approving applications as soon as is practicable after 29 February.