21/01/2016

Flood Protection Grant Scheme To Be Extended - O'Neill

The Homeowner Flood Protection Grant Scheme is to be extended to small non-domestic properties, Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill has announced.

The extension comes in addition to the Executive's decision to commit £1.3million to flood prevention.

"I very much welcome the Executive's decision to commit £1.3million of additional funding to preventative measures and preparing for future flood incidents.

"This demonstrates a commitment to ensuring that homes and other properties are protected from the worst effects of flooding and that our infrastructure, where possible, should remain useable to minimise the impacts on communities," Minister O'Neill said.

"I have long held the view that flood prevention must be the priority and, therefore, Rivers Agency will use its allocation from the Executive to inspect watercourses in areas recently affected by flooding and to carry out an essential maintenance work identified in order to strengthen protection for the future.
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"I am also happy that the Executive will step in to assist businesses severely affected by the recent flooding event.

"Last week, I announced the new £1million scheme to help people protect their homes from flooding. The grant scheme helps homeowners who may not be able to benefit from a larger scale flood alleviation scheme, to make physical changes to their homes to make them more resilient.

"Further to these measures, today I am also proposing the extension of the Homeowner Flood Protection Grant Scheme to small businesses, including farms.

"The recent flooding has highlighted the vulnerability of these types of properties and that we need to extend the range of our responses to flooding. I have therefore asked Rivers Agency to develop a similar scheme aimed at non-domestic properties."

Subject to a suitable business case being agreed, the grant scheme will open later this year and will allow owners of small businesses at risk of flooding to install physical barriers and equipment to help reduce the impact on their properties.

(MH/JP)

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