Northern Ireland

NI flooding: payments for businesses under new scheme

A Rivers Agency van sits at the end of a lane to a house surrounded by flooded fields
Image caption Floods have hit many parts of Northern Ireland, damaging homes, businesses and farmland

Businesses hit by winter flooding are to get payments under a new executive assistance scheme.

Thirty one premises were affected in Dungannon and four at Kinnego Marina at Lough Neagh in December.

The scheme will be a one-off. It is not yet known how much they will get.

Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill had suggested some of the £1.3m given to Northern Ireland from a Westminster flood fund should be used to pay the compensation.

Image copyright SDLP
Image caption Flood waters inside a business at Kinnego Marina on the shore of Lough Neagh

But at Thursday's meeting of the Northern Ireland Executive, it was decided to spend all that money on flood alleviation work.

Some of it will be spent on inspecting rivers and streams in areas prone to flooding.

Other money will have to be found to fund the assistance scheme for businesses.

Image caption Lough Neagh's floodgates have been fully open since November, the Rivers Agency has said

Meanwhile, it has been announced that businesses, including farms, will also be eligible for recently announced flood protection grants.

Previously, only homeowners had been eligible for help-to-buy measures like flood barriers to protect their properties.

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