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First Minister offers support to business

Flood-hit firms to get grant aid from Holyrood

Ballater flood youtubeFlood-hit businesses and communities are to receive a further £12 million from the Scottish government as the clean-up continues this weekend.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the funding is in addition to the £4m announced by the Deputy First Minister in his budget statement.

Anyone affected in any part of Scotland can apply for a grant.

In addition to flood relief support, businesses whose ability to trade has been severely affected by flooding will be able to apply for an additional grant of £3,000 funded by the Scottish Government and administered by their local authority.

Extra capital funding of up to £5m will also be made available to local authorities to replace infrastructure severely damaged by flood waters – including support for the reinstatement of the A93 between Ballater and Braemar.

Up to £1m will be made available through an Agricultural Floodbank Restoration Grant Scheme to the farming community to seek financial support to restore damaged floodbanks. Discussions will continue next week with the industry as to how government can support those affected through severe weather.

Sturgeon in Downing St STVThe First Minister (right) travelled to Inverurie today to meet with people affected by floods, local business owners who offered support in the community and emergency responders.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The Scottish Government is committed to providing the support needed to help individuals, business and communities to recover from the damage caused by this unprecedented severe weather with additional support of more than £12m.”

Every household and business premises that has seen flood water damage will be able to claim a grant of £1,500 from their local authority. They can use this to replace lost or damage items or to take steps to help flood proof their home.

Any business which has had its ability to trade impacted by the flooding will also be able to claim a £3,000 grant.

“In the face of devastation Scotland’s communities have rallied together and shown real strength,” said the First Minister. “I have met with some local business owners who have made a real difference by offering vital support and once again I am amazed by the determination and dedication of all of our emergency services who are working around the clock to save homes and livelihoods.

“We do not yet have confirmation of consequentials coming from UK Government flood funds – however, now that the picture of those who need support is clearer, the Scottish Government is acting now to make sure that the people who need help get it.”

Allocations to local authorities:

Local Authority

Allocation in Dec 2015 (£m)

Allocation in Jan 2016 (£m)

Total (£m)

Dumfries and Galloway

0.7

1

1.7

Scottish Borders

1.94

0.45

2.39

Perth and Kinross

1.2

0.45

1.65

Stirling

0.06

0.06

South Lanarkshire

0.04

0.04

Aberdeenshire

2

2

City of Aberdeen

0.5

0.5

Angus

0.9

0.9

East Ayrshire

0.5

0.5

Totals

3.94

5.8

9.74

The Deputy First Minister announced in December that £3.94m was being allocated to those local authority areas most affected by the severe flooding caused by Storm Desmond in early December in order to help them to support flood hit local households and businesses.

The Bellwin Scheme was triggered on 7 December as a result of Storm Desmond and on 30 December as a result of Storm Frank. The Bellwin Scheme remains active in the aftermath of the latest severe flooding.

The Bellwin Scheme allows Scottish Ministers to make additional revenue support to local authorities to assist with the immediate, and unforeseen costs in dealing with the aftermath of emergency incidents. It is a discretionary scheme, which exists to give special financial assistance to local authorities who would otherwise be faced with an undue financial burden as a result of providing relief and carrying out immediate work due to large-scale emergencies.

Local authorities are expected to include a small amount (0.2%) within their annual budget to deal with unforeseen emergencies and 100% of eligible costs above this threshold will be met.

The Federation of Small Businesses has praised local business owners for going the extra mile for their communities during recent flooding.

Scottish policy convenor Andy Willox has written to FSB member David Barrack, owner of the Strathburn Hotel in Inverurie, to applaud his decision to provide 40 rooms free-of-charge to people affected by the crisis.

Mr Willox said: “David and Elizabeth Barrack deserve widespread recognition for going the extra mile for Inverurie. They’re a credit to smaller businesses everywhere. We know that small firms stand behind their communities in a crisis, but the team at the Strathburn Hotel are an inspiration.

On the flooding, Andy added: “It will take a huge amount of effort to get these communities back on their feet. As recovery plans are developed, it will be exceptionally important that the needs of local businesses are considered. We cannot see good firms go to the wall because of short-term cash flow difficulties caused by this flooding.”



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