£2 million fund to help North-east communities dealing with floods aftermath

Storm Frank caused damage to homes across the region
Storm Frank caused damage to homes across the region

A £2 million fund to help victims of last year’s unprecedented storms has been released by the Scottish Government.

Aberdeenshire Council is still dealing with the aftermath of Storm Frank, which caused devastation in the area in December 2015 and January 2016.

Now, Finance Minister Derek Mackay has approved emergency funding through the Bellwin scheme, ahead of a visit to the North-east today.

He said: “There’s no doubt Aberdeenshire was among the areas hit the hardest by last year’s flooding, which is why this £2m of funding will be welcome news to the council and communities affected by Storm Frank.

“This support through the Bellwin scheme will help Aberdeenshire Council meet some of the immediate and unforeseen costs of the flood damage.

“We also recently commissioned research into the long-term impacts of flooding on communities such as Ballater, which will identify what more can be done to help people recover from flooding in the future.”

This funding comes on top of the £2m allocated to Aberdeenshire Council last year to administer funding to ensure every household, business premises or charity directly affected by flood water received help.

Aberdeenshire Council co-leader Richard Thomson said the council had spent about £12m on repairs and support to date, which the government funds would help to cover.

Cllr Thomson said: “The effects of Storm Frank continue to be felt in Aberdeenshire more than a year after the event, with much work still to be done.”

Co-leader Alison Evison added: “We are seeing a real sense of optimism in our communities as we enter a new year, with community spirit stronger than ever. We will continue our support for the communities that have been affected, both in terms of practical support and in providing advice on increasing resilience against severe weather.”