Flood Mitigation Fund opens

Town and Parish Councils or community groups can now apply for part of a £200,000 fund to help communities be more resilient against the effects of flooding.

Following the success of last year’s Flood Mitigation Fund, Somerset County Council is pleased to announce that the scheme will be repeated this year.

The fund was announced in January as part of the County Council’s response to the serious flooding experienced this winter.  It is aimed at small scale community schemes such as clearing ditches, building earthworks and other defences.

Cllr David Hall, Cabinet member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy, said: “The County Council already makes a significant financial contribution towards flood and water management, however in light of the success of last year’s scheme and the recent floods we recognised the need to do even more to help the people of Somerset.

“Last year we funded 34 projects that helped reduce the flood risk to properties, a school and a village hall.

“Communities will know where the problem areas are locally and we hope that this fund will attract applications to help them to address these problems and make a sustainable difference to flood water management.

“These grants will help protect homes, businesses or roads from the impact of flooding. We have released details of the scheme earlier this year to give communities more time to put submissions together.”

The County Council will contribute towards the cost of the planned works, provided that the scheme is completed by the end of March 2015. Applications are welcome until the deadline of 30 June 2014.

Town or Parish Councils are expected to be the main applicants, however other community groups can apply as long as they have written support from their local Town or Parish Council. Applications where the community provide part of the funding or undertake part of the work for free are more likely to be successful. Each valid application will be assessed and money awarded by a panel of Senior Councillors and a Director.

This fund is only part of the picture to help improve water management in the County.

For more advice on making an application to the grant scheme call Steve Webster on 01823 355310, or visit the flood risk management pages at www.somerset.gov.uk.