If you were, like me, touched by the suffering of those who flooded, or suffered flooding yourself you will be pleased to hear the Government has now released details on how to apply for different types of flood relief funding.

I have listed all the details I have for how to apply for funding. A helpful guide for the schemes is also available at the following address. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/284174/Flood-Support-Schemes-guidance.pdf

A £10 million Farming Recovery Fund was designed to assist: the restoration of productive grassland; the restoration of productive arable and horticultural land; restoring farm vehicle access to fields; and improvements to agricultural drainage.

Under the scheme, all farmers affected by the flooding will be able to apply for emergency funding of up to £5,000, covering up to 100% of their business costs. The majority of the Farming Recovery Fund will be reserved for farm businesses whose farms remain flooded.

To access the Farming Recovery Fund contact Defra’s Rural Development Team by emailing frf@defra.gsi.gov.uk or calling 0300 060 2700. Funding opened on Friday 28 February.

A Government business helpline is now providing comprehensive advice and support to businesses affected by floods. It will offer a free 1 hour call with a dedicated Business Support Adviser to help businesses get back on their feet. The helpline number is 0300 456 3565 and can take calls from flood affected businesses.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has also launched a new telephone helpline (0800 904 7900) for taxpayers significantly affected by the recent floods. It will enable anyone affected to get fast, practical help and advice on a wide range of tax problems they may be facing.

Opening hours for the new helpline are Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 4pm, excluding bank holidays.

HMRC will look to: agree instalment arrangements where taxpayers are unable to pay as a result of the floods; agree a practical approach when individuals and businesses have lost vital records to the floods; suspend debt collection proceedings for those affected by the floods; and cancel penalties when the taxpayer has missed statutory deadlines.

A £10million scheme to provide hardship funding for SME businesses in areas affected by the floods has been created with Herefordshire Council allocated £20,000 from the first £5 million.

The scheme can be used to support businesses which have been indirectly impacted by the floods. Eligible businesses will be able to claim for funding for things like developing and implementing business recovery plans or immediate clean-up costs, materials, and exceptional costs to help them continue trading.

Businesses that have been flooded will qualify for 100% business rate relief for three months and homes that have been flooded will qualify for a council tax rebate for at least three months.

If your home has been affected by the floods contact Herefordshire Council at sthodges@herefordshire.gov.uk or 01432 261923; or if your business has been affected by the floods contact Herefordshire Council on economicinvestment@herefordshire.gov.uk or 01432 261758.

I have seen the misery of flooding too often and hope that this information is helpful.

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