SNFU lobbying secures £1.8m floodbank restoration
Following the recent exceptional and tragic extreme weather events, which saw loss of life and extensive flood damage in parts of Scotland, NFU Scotland and its farmer members have been campaigning for funding to help with the repair work.
That has seen the Union, and its members bring Cabinet Ministers, senior politicians, local MSPs and officials on farm to view the damage.
NFU Scotland also raised the need for floodbank restoration support and the need for active river management in its recent meeting with First Minister Humza Yousaf.
While details on the scheme and its opening are expected next month, it is understood that eligible businesses will be able to apply for grants of up to £30,000 to help repair man-made floodbanks.
The eligible local authority areas will be Moray, Perth and Kinross, Aberdeenshire, City of Aberdeen, Angus and Fife.
The Union has already raised with Scottish Government the need for riverbank restoration to be included in the scheme.
While not man-made, some of the worst damage in the recent flooding saw large areas of riverbank completely eroded.
NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy met with several politicians on farms in Perthshire in recent weeks to allow them to witness the damage first hand.
Commenting on the situation, he said: “We welcome the announcement and recognition from Scottish Government, through this fund, that the exceptional and tragic damage seen as a result of the recent storms merited support to drive the recovery, restore the considerable damage done and protect communities and valuable farmland from similar events in the future.
“We are still gathering data from farmers affected by the floods, but it is already clear that the cost of repair and restoration, alongside the damage, debris removal and crop loss, will leave the farming industry with a bill that runs to several millions.
“We welcome Scottish Government recognising that repairing flood banks is a crucial step to safeguarding rural communities and land from any future extreme weather events.”