Rishi Sunak secures up to £5m flood relief funding for the Dales

Rishi Sunak has secured up to £5m in central government funding to help cover the cost of the flooding which devastated Swaledale and lower Wensleydale.

The £3m cost of replacing and repairing bridges will be covered by the Department of Transport.

The one-off, exceptional funding will help North Yorkshire County Council replace the bridge on Grinton Moor and repair a second bridge near Cogden Beck on the B6270 Reeth-Richmond road as quickly as possible.

The Richmond MP said affected farmers will also benefit from a £2m fund modelled on the Farming Recovery Fund set up after the Cumbria floods. The 15-20 farms in Swaledale and lower Wensleydale hit by the flooding will be able to apply for grants to cover uninsured costs of getting their farms back in production.

The £2m fund will also be available to farms around the Lincolnshire town of Wainfleet which was flooded in June.

Mr Sunak also confirmed that following his representations, the Government’s emergency Bellwin scheme had been activated to enable local authorities to apply to central government for reimbursement of money they have spent on the relief effort.

Under the scheme, Richmondshire District and North Yorkshire County Councils will apply to have up to 100% of the money they have spent on items like relief centres, temporary accommodation and staff overtime reimbursed by the Government.

Mr Sunak said: “I have spent the last week with Ministers across Whitehall to secure these funds and ensure our community can recover from the impact of last week’s flash-flooding as soon as possible.

“The relief work on the ground has been superb and it is right that central government should back that up to the greatest extent possible.

“The people of Swaledale and Wensleydale have shown their resilience and community spirit and I am delighted to have delivered the financial assistance to help them recover from what in many instances has been a complete disaster.”

Mr Sunak said he wanted to thank everyone who had contributed to the relief effort.

“What has been achieved in the past 10 days since the deluge has been inspiring but both I and the Government appreciate this relief effort will continue for months. These three funding streams are designed to provide that long-term support to the affected communities.”

He thanked his ministerial colleagues in the Environment, Communities and Transport departments for working with him on the recovery funding package.

Mr Sunak visited the affected areas on two days last week, speaking to flood victims and the relief workers. He has been working together with his own team to provide support to individuals and help co-ordinate recovery efforts in local parishes. Mr Sunak said he would continue to support local communities and will be regularly monitoring the recovery operation on the ground.