EU approves flood recovery money

UK to receive £115m from Solidarity Fund
UK to receive £115m from Solidarity Fund

The European Commission has recommended the UK receives £115 million to cover the cost of the summer floods.

The funds still need to be formally approved by the European parliament but should be received by UK officials early next year.

The government applied for funding from the European Solidarity Fund in August after the total cost of cleaning up after the floods in June and July was estimated at £3.3 billion.

Heavy rain led to flooding across the south-west, Midlands and Yorkshire, affecting 48,000 homes and 7,000 businesses.

The Solidarity Fund typically supplies grants to cover 2.5 per cent to five per cent of the cost of the damage caused by natural disasters.

It is supposed to meet the uninsurable costs of freak occurrences and will be funnelled into local authorities to reimburse them for the cost of emergency services and the flood clean-up.

Danuta Hubner, European commissioner for regional policy, said the money would help put "basic infrastructure back in working order".

Flood recovery minister John Healey said the £115 million was an "important" addition to government funds.

The government has already made £63 million available and Mr Healey said "tremendous progress" had been made towards repairing the damage.

The Solidarity Fund was set up in 2002 and the cost of the UK floods is thought to be the largest bill caused by a natural disaster since the fund was launched.


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