Government announces support for flood-hit farmers, Barclays offer support

Flood-hit farmers in northern England will be able to apply for up to £25,000 in government grants to help them get back on their feet.

The government has announced it will extend its Farming Recovery Fund to support farmers badly affected by the recent flooding across Yorkshire and the Midlands.

Through this scheme, farmers and land managers who have suffered uninsurable damage to their property will be able to apply for grants of between £500 and £25,000 to cover repair costs – whether that’s clearing debris or recovering damaged land.

This comes as Environment Agency teams continue to work around the clock in incident rooms and on the ground to reduce flood risk and keep communities safe.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said: “My thoughts go out to all those affected by the devastating flooding across Yorkshire and the Midlands.

“We are providing more funding to support farmers impacted and help local communities get back on their feet.

“Earlier this week I visited Environment Agency teams on the ground in South Yorkshire as they work around the clock to reduce flooding risks and keep people safe.

“I would like to pay tribute to the dedication of these staff, alongside our Emergency Services and Armed Forces, who are working day and night to protect our farmers, local communities and businesses.”

Since the flooding began last Thursday, approximately 14,400 properties have been protected by flood defences, including nearly 5,000 properties in South Yorkshire alone. Over 300 Environment Agency staff are now on the ground in South Yorkshire supporting local communities affected.

Responding to the announcement of support for rural businesses affected by recent flooding, Country Land and Business Association (CLA) President Tim Breitmeyer said: “The announcement shows that Government is listening and will come as a relief to many in rural areas. Farmers and landowners have been devastated by the destruction that has been caused by this flooding and it is vital that the money is made available quickly and easily.”

Mark Suthern, Barclays national head of agriculture, add: “The extreme weather and subsequent flooding we’re seeing at the moment is causing adversity for farmers, and may well have an impact on their cash flow, particularly for those buying additional feed for livestock or replacing sown crops which have been washed away. Some winter crops may need to be replaced in the spring, doubling costs and impacting the 2020 harvest.

“Our specialist team of agricultural relationship managers are out speaking to all our farming clients who have been impacted to see how we can help. Barclays can offer immediate support in the form of increased working capital and assist with longer term cash flow planning for 2020. We can also offer capital repayment holidays to help ease pressure in the coming 12 months.

“Farmers worried about the impact on their business should talk to their bank now. We can help plan ahead for the coming months and ease any pressure as we face continued uncertainty.”

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.