Farmers in Scotland hit by the recent floods will be able to apply for funding to help repair man-made floodbanks.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead confirmed that applications for the floodbank repair grant scheme can now be made.
He said: “Farmers who require support to restore man-made floodbanks on their farms can now apply for the Agricultural Floodbank Repair Grant Scheme. This scheme is made up of £1 million funding and will cover the standard costs of repairs, up to a cap of £20,000 per business, and cover farmers affected by flooding in nine local authorities during December and early January.
“I also recently announced a number of measures to complement this scheme, including flexibility on greening and cross compliance rules, following a visit to a farm in Perthshire, where it was jaw dropping to see the scale and impact of the flooding.
“SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) will also take a pragmatic approach while farmers turn their efforts to getting things back to normal.”
The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced the Agricultural Floodbank Repair Scheme earlier this year, with £1M being made available to fund the repair of man-made flood-banks on farms in nine local authorities: Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, Perth and Kinross, Stirling, South Lanarkshire, Aberdeenshire, City of Aberdeen, Angus and East Ayrshire.
The scheme was created by the Scottish government in conjunction with NFU Scotland with the intention of providing easily accessible focused help.
Terry A’Hearn, Chief Executive of SEPA, said: “SEPA understands the hardship and damage caused by the recent floods. I welcome the introduction of this grant scheme, and I’d like to take this opportunity to clarify that SEPA does not need to be contacted for the repair of man-made flood banks. Our officers continue to be on standby to assist farmers where required.”