A Charitable Trust can be established with the specific purpose of dealing with and managing contributions for a particular cause or project. The Trust does not procure funds, but it is a mechanism for obtaining, holding and administering funds. Funds can be collected from the community/general public and is administered and allocated by the Trust. The community members will need to set up the Trust, involving substantial time and commitment. The Trust would then need to raise the funds required and long-term involvement would be needed.
The amount of funding available varies and is dependent on the amount of Grant-in-Aid (GiA) and the level of contributions from other partners. The application process is lengthy (around 18 months) and requires the Lead Local Flood Authority to submit the bid on behalf of the community with their support.
Although it is possible to achieve 100% funding, it is more likely that a lower proportion of money is achieved. The remaining costs should be met by those who would benefit from the project such as residents and businesses.
Insurance premiums may be reduced by installing resilience measures to minimise future flood damages. A flood risk mitigation survey can be undertaken to identify which measures could be used and also confirm that any such measures have been installed correctly. The insurance company will probably require confirmation of correct installation. The extent of reduction and involvement varies by insurance company.
Your Local Authority will need to assist you with setting up a Business Improvement District. Money is collected through a levy on business rates in the area. A BID is only valid for 5 years. It can take up to 2 years to set up a BID and has high initial costs (£100,000 to £500,000).
The levy funding can be used to lever further funding, for example, from public bodies. Funding could potentially be put towards a flood scheme to decrease risk to businesses and so improve trading conditions.
CIL is a levy which local authorities can attach to new developments. The money can be used for infrastructure including flood defences. District councils will need to set up and charge the levy; however they also have responsibility for deciding what infrastructure the levy is spent on. Funds must be spent within the area from which they were raised.
Councils can hold a referendum to increase council tax to raise funds. For example, Gloucestershire held a local referendum to allow council tax to be increased to raise funds for investment in additional drainage and maintenance work after the 2007 floods. Cockermouth residents also agreed to pay an extra levy on their Council Tax over three years to help fund flood defence works for the town.
Parish precept can be raised for projects that improve the quality of the area.
In order to gain funding from a variety of sources you may need to become a Community Interest Company (CIC). The level of community involvement varies, some CICs depend on the input of the community whereas others undertake actions on their behalf.
Case Study Example: A community-led partnership was formed by Bucklebury residents with support from the Environment Agency and West Berkshire Council to deliver a flood alleviation for their village in Berkshire. The villagers set up a CIC after the floods of 2007 to enable them to raise funding and to work towards preventing future flooding. The scheme cost £600,000. £65,000 was raised from residents and £550,000 was provided by Bucklebury Parish Council and the Thames Regional Flood Defence Committee. The flood alleviation scheme included building bunds, digging a bypass channel and developing a new ford to divert flood flows around the village.
Property owners who have equity within their properties can release this money through extending their current mortgage or taking out a new mortgage. The money can then be used to fund property level flood resilience measures.
Equity release can be in the form of an additional income, a cash lump sum, or both. The Money Advice Service gives you information on how the different types of equity release scheme work and what you should expect from firms that sell them.
This is quite a quick process, taking only months between making a decision to mortgage or re-mortgage and having flood resilience measures installed.
This Big Lottery Fund covers equipment costs, building and engineering works, purchase of land and equipment and legal fees. Community groups must apply for the funds, which are a minimum of £10,000. This fund does not cover routine repairs, maintenance or general improvement to public areas.
This needs to be led by the local community and aims to benefit the whole community. The grant size is variable but is likely to be less than £10,000.