[A]llerdale Borough Council has paid out grants totalling over £1m to home and business owners, to help them make their properties more resilient to flooding. In total 292 grants have been paid, totalling £1,095,302. In addition there are a further 328 applications which have been authorised to carry out the necessary works. These total a further £1.3m. In all the Council has received 691 applications, or around 47% of all properties which flooded in December 2015.
The Property Level Resilience Grants are available to all residential and business properties where flood water entered their building between either 3-11 December 2015 or 24-28 December 2015.
Those eligible can get up to £5,000 to help pay for measures which will make their property more resistant to flooding, or make it quicker to clean-up and return to the property if it floods. This can include flood gates, valves and other measures. Residential property owners may also be eligible for a further £2,000 from Cumbria Community Foundation.
In addition property owners who are eligible for the grant now have more time to apply. The deadline for applications was originally set at 16 December this year. However, this has been extended to 31 March 2017 to allow more time for people to get their applications to the Council.
To apply for the grant, residents should go to Allerdale Borough Council’s website at www.allerdale.gov.uk/floodadvice and download the application form; ring the Council on 0303 123 1702; or visit one of their contact centres in Workington, Cockermouth, Keswick, Maryport or Wigton.
Property owners can also visit one of the advice centres set up by the Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG) which offer free advice and support. The unit in Allerdale is now located at Office 3, 1st Floor Barclays Bank, Market Square, Keswick having recently moved from its previous home in Cockermouth. Staff are on hand to offer advice and assistance to help them apply for the grant and get the most appropriate measures installed in their property.
Applicants can also source a survey, products and building work themselves. More information can be found on the Council’s website.
Anyone thinking of installing flood resistance measures should contact the Council to get advice on planning and building control requirements. Planning permission is required for most external measures and listed building consent is likely to be required for all measures on a listed property. The Council is keen to ensure measures not only protect against flooding, but they also maintain the attractiveness of our towns and villages for everyone’s benefit.
Phil Tibble, Executive member with responsibility for emergency planning said: “This is an important milestone and I’d like to thank all the staff involved who have made this grant process such a success. I’d also like to encourage everyone who is entitled to a grant to apply and get the measures installed as soon as possible – especially now that the deadline for applications has been extended. However this time shall soon pass especially if there may be some aspects, like planning, which need a period of time for consultation. Whilst I hope we never see a repeat of the events of last December, it is better to be prepared than to be sorry.”