Scottish Borders Council receives £3.8m to cover flood damage
Scottish Government funding will also be used to develop a new flood protection scheme in Hawick
Flooding - credit: Fotolia
Scottish Borders Council will receive £3.8m of special financial assistance from the Scottish Government to help cover the cost of responding to storms in 2016.
The emergency funding, from the Bellwin Scheme, will cover damage caused by storms, which hit the area between December 2015 and January 2016.
Scottish Government funding will also be used to develop a new flood protection scheme in Hawick.
The Bellwin Scheme is discretionary funding which exists to give special financial assistance to councils who face an undue financial burden as a result of large-scale emergencies.
Business, Innovation and Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the area was one of those hardest hit by storms.
He said: “I witnessed the effect of the flooding in Hawick during Storm ‘Desmond’ and I know how traumatic it was for many here and in communities elsewhere in the Borders affected by the floods.
“This support through the Bellwin scheme will help Scottish Borders Council meet the majority of the immediate and unforeseen costs of the flood damage and supplements help to 200 households and many local businesses.
“The Scottish Government is committed to working to reduce flood risk across Scotland and has committed £420 million over the next 10 years to protect homes in many of our most flood-prone areas including the future Hawick Flood Protection Scheme.”
The money follows £2.39m in funding, allocated by the Scottish Governmnet last year to ensure that every household, business premises or charity directly affected by flood water received help.
The Government said over 200 households and businesses received £1,500 grant payments, and 38 businesses received grants of £3,000.
Councillor Gordon Edgar, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure, said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government has supported this Council by releasing the full funding we applied for through the Bellwin scheme for the eligible costs we incurred during and following last winter’s storms.
“The scale of the damage to the region’s roads, buildings, parks, open spaces, footpaths and bridges was quite simply the biggest challenge we have ever had to date.
“Many of the repair works were challenging and time consuming and I would like to thank our staff for their efforts, and the public for their patience and understanding during what was an extremely difficult and challenging time for the Borders and the Council.
“In the 12 months since Storm Desmond, two flood schemes have been completed in the Scottish Borders and the Hawick scheme is getting closer to entering its next phase before construction. We welcome the continued support from the Scottish Government on these projects too.”
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