Brown Tables Flood Adjournment Debate In Assembly

Alliance MLA Patrick Brown Tables Adjournment Debate on Flooding in South Down

South Down Alliance MLA Patrick Brown has tabled an adjournment debate in the Assembly chamber on Tuesday, focusing on Economic Recovery from Flooding in South Down.

The debate prompted an announcement from the Economy Minister regarding additional funding for businesses affected by flooding.

The second tranche of ‘enhanced’ flood relief funding, first announced in December, will be opening next week and will offer businesses the opportunity to claim up to £100k in grant funding to aid in their recovery.

South Down Alliance MLA Patrick Brown tabled adjournment debate motion in the Assembly on the recent flooding.

Furthermore, two separate schemes will be introduced for businesses that did not meet the criteria for the initial £7.5k grant.

In light of the Minister’s announcement, an update outlining the criteria and application process for eligible businesses is expected next week.

Patrick Brown Brown said: “Flood recovery is a top priority for me in the Assembly.

“I submitted a motion to discuss flood recovery and in response to the delays in opening the scheme.

“I had also tabled multiple questions to the Minster since the Assembly was restored. Nonetheless, I was pleased to secure a debate on Tuesday and took the opportunity to both welcome and scrutinise the Minister’s announcement regarding the steps his department is taking to support businesses and release funding.

‘The delays in the funding have been really damaging for businesses in Downpatrick, especially for the businesses who missed out on the £7.5k grant last year.

“I very much welcome the Economy Minister’s announcement regarding the flood recovery fund, but I will be examining the scheme closely to ensure it is adequate to support all traders.

Brown added: “I have engaged with Department officials since the flooding in November and I will continue to press upon the Minister and his Department that the money is paid out as quickly and efficiently as possible.”