Nineteen months after Storm Desmond devastated the county, the Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund has supported more than 3,000 households and helped communities rebuild after the floods.
Managed by Cumbria Community Foundation, over £9 million has been awarded in total, with more than £2.5 million being invested in resistance and resilience measures for both households and communities, to help minimise the extent of damage in the future.
Dr Jenny Benson, Flood Fund Programme Manager, said: “As anyone who has been flooded will tell you, the experience is devastating and the effects are felt long after the water has subsided.
“Many of the thousands of residents whose homes were flooded have experienced significant additional costs. Even those whose financial circumstances initially appeared ‘comfortable’ have met with uninsured and unexpected losses.
“Some Insurers will only pay for like for like reinstatement, rather than the inclusion of resilience measures, for example, raising the height of electrics, concrete floors or stainless steel kitchen units. The fund is able to offer financial assistance to support this type of work.”
The Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund is able to top-up the Property Level Resilience (PLR) grants, administered by local district councils, if the costs exceed £5,000. The PLR grant scheme is now closed to new applications and works must be completed over the next few weeks.
Cumbria Community Foundation is encouraging flood affected people to apply for uninsured recovery costs and/or resilience top-up grants from the fund before the deadline of 30th September 2017.
Community organisations directly affected by the floods and who require funding for uninsured recovery costs and/or property resilience measures should apply to the fund by the deadline of the 11th August 2017.
The Foundation is embarking on the next phase of helping communities with their long-term recovery and will continue to invest in community resilience and flood readiness work. This phase will support projects and groups that help communities be better protected from and ready to respond to future flooding.
Jenny continues: “We have provided funding to a number of Flood Action and Community Emergency Response Groups to support the delivery of their longer term community resilience plans. Funding has already supported volunteer coordinators in Cockermouth, Keswick and Kendal and purchased volunteer equipment in other areas.
“The fund has not only helped residents with practical, financial and emotional support, it will also help to lay stronger foundations for future recovery programmes across the county.”