Flood recovery e-bulletin - funding special

Information provided by Cumbria County Council on 24 December 2015

Full range of funding schemes for those affected by flooding now in place
Six separate funding schemes are now in place to support households and businesses affected by flooding, with a seventh scheme to fund household flood protection set to launch on 4 January.

They include:

  1. £500 for every household that has been flooded
  2. Flood resilience grants of up to £5000 (launching 4 January)
  3. Council Tax relief scheme for flood properties
  4. Business Rates relief scheme for flooded businesses
  5. Business grants of up to £10,000 for businesses affected by flooding
  6. Fundiing for households via the Cumbria Community Foundation
  7. Funding for voluntary organisations via the Cumbria Community Foundation

 Full details of each scheme are given below.

1. Funding for properties that have been flooded from the Government

The government is providing local authorities with Community Grants as part of the Communities and Business Recovery Scheme. This will be equivalent to up to £500 per household affected by flooding. It will help with recovery costs such as provision of temporary accommodation.

In Cumbria this will mean a fixed payment of £500 to each household where a property has been flooded.

For those properties that already pay their council tax by Direct Debit the good news is that you don’t need to do anything. This payment will be paid directly into your bank account and the payment will show up as a payment from your local district council who are administrating the scheme.

If you do not pay your council tax by direct debit then please contact your local district council who will be happy to help you apply for the payment.

2. Household Flood Resilience Grant Scheme

The Prime Minister announced on 9th December 2015 a scheme to provide grants of up to £5,000 to homeowners that had been flooded over the incident period 3- 11th December 2015  to help fund additional flood resilience or resistance measures for homes.  This funding is available for works associated with flood protection of properties affected by the flooding.

Households that have been flooded will wish to consider whether they might be eligible for a flood resilience grant.  If they think they may be eligible, they should contact their District Council from the 4th January 2016 to find out what next steps they need to take.

Grants are intended only to fund measures which improve the property’s resilience or resistance to flooding, over and above repairs that would normally be covered by insurance.  Grant application forms should be submitted and approved in advance of committing expenditure.  If applications are retrospective there is a risk to the homeowner that costs may not be eligible.

3. Council Tax Relief scheme

The Council Tax relief scheme will apply to Council Tax payers within both Unoccupied and Partly Occupied properties. The relief will be available from the 12th December 2015.

Unoccupied Properties

For properties that fit within this definition a 100% Council Tax Discount will apply to all properties that have been rendered uninhabitable[1] due to the flooding.

This relief will apply:

  • for the period the property remains unoccupied and uninhabitable
  • for a maximum period of 12 months.
  • will cease on reoccupation of the whole premises.

Partly Occupied Properties

For properties that fit within this definition a 100% Council Tax Discount will apply to all properties that have been rendered partly uninhabitable[2] due to the flooding and the residents have remained in the property but occupation of the whole property is limited by flood damage.

This relief will apply:

  • for the period the property remains partly occupied
  • for a maximum period of 12 months.
  • Will cease on reoccupation of the whole premises
  •  Will be subject to verification by Council Officers

2nd Homes and Empty Properties

Properties which were empty or 2nd Homes at the time of the flooding will be allowed to claim the relief for a maximum period of 6 months

4. Business Rate Relief Scheme

The Business Rate Relief scheme will award 100% rate relief for a three month period to all businesses affected by flooding starting on the 12th December 2015. . The definition for this can be found in the detailed scheme information that the District Councils will have available on their website.

The relief applies for the full three months even if the premises reopen within that time. A fresh application can be made if the adverse effects continue and will be considered by the Council. The total maximum period for which relief can be obtained is twelve months.

5. Funding for Businesses affected by flooding

Funding is now available to support businesses severely affected by the recent flooding – whether flooded directly or affected less directly through, for example, extended road closures.

Grants are available to non-farming small and medium sized businesses (up to 250 full time equivalent employees). Support for farming businesses is being arranged separately through Defra.

Grants can be used for a wide range of activities to support survival and recovery such as marketing, interest payments on new and existing loans, specialist advice, training, equipment and other activities supporting implementation of a recovery action plan.

Growth Hub advisers are available free of charge to assist with development of action plans and help put together the application. All applications must be reviewed and signed off by a Growth Hub adviser.

They can also provide other practical advice and support and link businesses into other advice, support and funding available to them.

Application packs, including guidance notes on the scheme, are available to download at www.cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk.

The application process is simple and 75% of the grant will be paid up front within days of approval. To apply contact Cumbria Business Growth Hub, 0844 257 8450 or info@cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk.

6. Funding for individuals and families from the Cumbria Community Foundation

The Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund 2015, which is being run by the Cumbria Community Foundation will provide financial assistance to help individuals and families who have been affected.

There is help available for individuals and families whose homes have significant structural damage from flooding and for employees who have lost work or income because of storm or flood.  Please go online to apply at www.cumbriafoundation.org.

7. Help for voluntary and community groups
Voluntary and community organisations also play a vital role in supporting communities during times of need and grants will be made available to them also.

Support is available to voluntary and community groups who are providing immediate relief to people and longer term community rebuilding projects. Support will also be provided to flood affected community facilities. Please apply on line at www.cumbriafoundation.org or call 01900 825760

For more information and advice