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The Lord Caine visits Downpatrick and highlights the resilience of the community and businesses after Storm Ciarán

During the visit, The Lord Caine highlighted the UK Government's commitment to the local businesses and the community

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Lord Caine, has re-visited Downpatrick to hear from the local community and businesses affected by severe flooding last year.    

In November, businesses and homeowners in Downpatrick, Newry and Portadown were badly affected by floods caused by Storm Ciarán. 

The UK Government responded by making up to £15 million of support available through the reallocation of existing NI funding. The initial support package included rates relief for flooded business premises until 31 March 2024 and one-off grant payments of £7,500 for affected eligible businesses.

In addition to this, the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) announced additional support providing up to £100,000 per business to help with the replacement of damaged or destroyed equipment, refitting of flooded property and repair of damage to buildings.

Lord Caine met again some of those affected by Storm Ciarán and heard how they are recovering from the flooding, and how the funding provided has supported them. He also visited the recently opened temporary Asda store in the town.

Commenting afterwards, Lord Caine said:

“When I visited Downpatrick in November last year, I was struck by the heart breaking stories that I heard, but also impressed by the resilience of the community and their united resolve to rebuild local businesses and facilities. I was very pleased to return to Downpatrick to see how the local community is recovering from the flooding.

“In particular, I am glad to see that the rates relief and £15 million funding made available by the UK Government, in the absence of the NI Executive last year, is being put to use for the betterment of those affected. 

“In January I also met my Parliamentary colleague and ASDA Chairman, Lord Rose, to discuss the future commitment of the company to Downpatrick, and was pleased to be able to visit the temporary store yesterday.

“I also welcome the NI Civil Service’s Enhanced Flood Support Scheme that made up to £10 million available to assist small and medium sized businesses.

“I know the Department of Economy has worked closely with local councils to deliver this support and I am grateful for their efforts. I hope the Executive can now work to support businesses and local communities in the long-term as they fully recover from the flooding and begin building a prosperous future.”

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