Floodbank restoration scheme

Details on how to apply to the Scottish Government’s floodbank restoration scheme have been announced with NFU Scotland encouraging flood-hit farmers to apply to the £1 million fund.

The scheme, specifically designed to assist those farmers who have seen floodbanks breached by recent floods, will remain open to applications until the end of February, with applications subject to an approval process, before funding will be made available in March.

Working with the Union, the scheme has been simplified and will see standard costings being applied to applications. The level of individual awards will be determined by the number of applications to the scheme.

NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie said: “We welcome the launch of the floodbank restoration scheme, and the £1 million support it will provide to many flood-hit farmers. I would urge all farmers who have seen their floodbanks damaged to apply to the scheme before the end of February.

“Following the scheme closure, we want Scottish Government to press on at pace with the approvals process so that funds can be released and vital repair work carried out. While many of our members would want to crack on with repairs now, it is an unfortunate requirement of State Aid schemes that necessary work cannot be done without grants receiving prior approval.

“For those who need to press on with floodbank repairs now, it is worth noting that where like-for-like repairs are being carried out, prior approval from SEPA is not required. Longer term, the key issue is to prevent flooding on this scale in future and the Union has put a package of flood resilience measures to SEPA and ScotGov for consideration.

“We are seeking a change in attitude.” that will allow farmers to do the necessary required activities on watercourses to reduce the flood risk to farmland, homes and businesses.”