Help still available for flood victims

Heatherslaw Light Railway under water.
Heatherslaw Light Railway under water.

Businesses affected by recent floods in Northumberland are being reminded of the funding help that is available.

Flood recovery grants are available to small and medium sized businesses with up to 250 full-time equivalent employees.

They 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.

While Arch, which is administering the scheme on behalf of Northumberland County Council, has been in contact with all the businesses affected by storms Desmond and Eva, traders are being reminded there is still time to submit a funding application.

Latest estimates suggest 75 businesses could be eligible and the amount of funding available depends on the size of the business and the level of support required.

Council leader Grant Davey said: "Getting businesses that need assistance the right support is extremely important and that's why we’ve been at the forefront of co-ordinating help for affected properties.

"Our focus, through Arch, remains helping traders get back on their feet as soon as possible and ensuring that despite the extreme flooding Northumberland remains open for business."

Specialist advisers are on hand to offer advice and support when businesses get in touch. Application forms are available on the council's website, and businesses can call Arch on 01670 528489 or emailkaty.mcintosh@arch-group.co.uk for support.

Householders and businesses that were flooded in December 2015 can also apply for a property level resilience grant of up to £5,000. The application deadline for these grants has now been extended to September 30.

These grants are intended only to fund measures which improve the property’s resilience or resistance to flooding, beyond repairs that would normally be covered by insurance.

Northumberland is the first local authority in the country to issue grant funding for these measures but is still encouraging more homeowners and businesses to apply as uptake is still quite low.

For more information, ring 01670 624139 or email fcerm@northumberland.gov.uk

Full information about flood support is available on the council’s website at www.northumberland.gov.uk/floodsupport