Wiltshire

Amesbury poisoning: Wiltshire gets £5m funding after Novichok attack

Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley Image copyright Facebook
Image caption The couple, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, had spent time in Salisbury

An extra £5m of government funding has been handed out to help the Wiltshire economy recover after a couple were poisoned by a nerve agent.

Dawn Sturgess, 44, and Charlie Rowley, 45, were exposed to Novichok in Amesbury on 30 June.

A murder investigation was launched after Ms Sturgess died on Sunday. Mr Rowley remains in hospital but is no longer in a critical condition.

Theresa May said people in the region "have shown incredible resilience".

Searches have taken place in Amesbury, where the pair fell ill, and in Salisbury where Ms Sturgess lived.

The prime minister said the funding package "will ensure ongoing response and recovery needs are met".

"We will continue to work closely with local partners in South Wiltshire on the long-term recovery from these terrible incidents," she added.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Free parking was introduced in Salisbury after the Russian spy poisoning in March

The package includes nearly £1m to Wiltshire Council's response and recovery, £927,000 to local businesses which had lost money and £870,000 in funding to boost tourism.

Wiltshire Police is also to receive a further £2.5m to cover its extra costs, bringing the total it has received since the first poisoning in March to £4.1m.

Baroness Jane Scott, the leader of Wiltshire Council, said: "I welcome the announcement of this support package from government, and look forward to working with them to provide the essential support the communities and businesses affected by this incident need."

Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, said: "I am grateful that the government has pledged £4.1m towards the costs incurred by Wiltshire Police during the investigation into the attack on Yulia and Sergei Skripal."

The money is in addition to £2.5m hardship fund for Salisbury businesses, the council and local police after former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in March.

A number of measures were brought in such as free parking to encourage more shoppers and tourists to visit Salisbury.

Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley fell ill at a house in Amesbury, about eight miles from Salisbury.

Police are investigating a possible link to the case of Russians Sergei and Yulia Skripal, who were poisoned with the same substance in nearby Salisbury in March.

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