Grants of up to £20,000 are on offer to help communities in Leeds protect themselves against any repeat of Boxing Day’s disastrous flooding.
More than £300,000 was raised by the Yorkshire Evening Post-backed Leeds Flood Appeal after Storm Eva hit the city, causing millions of pounds of damage.
Nearly £100,000 of that cash was distributed to individuals, charities and community groups immediately after the floods.
Now a new funding round has made further grants available for “longer-term clean-up activities and to support flood resilience initiatives as long as they have wider community benefit”.
Sally-Anne Greenfield, chief executive of the Leeds Community Foundation charity, which is co-ordinating the appeal, said: “We are very proud that we have been able to provide key support and grants to allow people to get back on their feet.
“We have now launched a strengthening communities grants scheme to enable people to prepare for future floods and assist with major ongoing repairs.
“We are encouraging those who were affected by the floods last year to get in touch and apply.”
Meanwhile, Leeds City Council deputy leader Coun Lucinda Yeadon has marked the six-month anniversary of the floods by praising the grit shown by residents in her ward of Kirkstall, one of the worst affected areas.
She said: “It’s quite unbelievable to think that six months has gone by since Kirkstall experienced its worst flooding in nearly 150 years.
“The Boxing Day floods had a devastating impact on the people of Kirkstall Road and surrounding areas.
“Yet they also brought out the best in the community – friends, neighbours and strangers uniting to help those whose properties were submerged in water.
“Some businesses were back on their feet very quickly – however, half a year later, there are still some who are yet to reopen their doors.
“We’re resilient folk in Leeds, yet the challenges that we still face as a direct result of December the 26th are significant.
“Securing affordable insurance still remains a huge issue for businesses and some are considering their future.
“However, I have every confidence that, just as we did in the immediate aftermath of the floods, Kirkstall and its community will respond in the best way possible – with creativity and determination.”
For information on how to apply for Leeds Flood Appeal grants, visit www.leedscf.org.uk. The deadline for applications is July 21.