Northern Ireland

Flood relief scheme to open for businesses next week, offering up to £100k

Flooded shops in the town centre of Downpatrick (Peter Morrison/PA).
Flooded shops in the town centre of Downpatrick (Peter Morrison/PA).

A flood relief scheme for businesses hit by severe weather in October and November last year will open next week, offering grants of up to £100,000.

Around £10 million has been signed off by the Department for the Economy for the support programme, which will be administered by councils.

The money is part of the £15m flood support package originally announced in October.

It’s understood the funding will principally target flood-hit businesses in the Downpatrick, Newry and Portadown areas.

A small portion of the funding has already been distributed in £7,500 grants and rates relief.

“I know that this has been a difficult and very worrying time for businesses that have been affected by flooding, and they are frustrated that the support hasn’t been made available sooner,” economy minister Conor Murphy said.

Downpatrick flooding
Council workers from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council help clean up flood-stricken Downpatrick (Liam McBurney/PA)

“I am pleased, therefore, to announce that the councils will begin to take in applications to an Enhanced Flood Support Scheme next week.

“This will provide up to £100,000 to flooded small and medium sized businesses in Newry, Downpatrick and other affected towns to cover costs associated with the refitting of the flooded premises and the replacement of damaged equipment and stock.”

A further two hardship schemes have also been approved offering support to those affected by the flooding but not eligible for the other supports.

This includes, for example, support for occupants of non-domestic premises that were flooded but were not covered by the £7,500 scheme and also support for businesses that were not flooded but were unable to access their premises and hence unable to trade.”

More details around the criteria and application process is expected to be released early next week.