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Flood recovery fund increases target to £7million

Flooding in Carlisle after Storm Desmond Credit: ITV Border

The group raising money for Cumbria's flood victims has increased its fundraising target to £7million.

Cumbria Community Foundation's Flood Recovery Appeal has already raised £5.7million, but says the cost of December's floods to the county is rising.

The appeal has so far supported more than 2,000 households – 35% of all those affected - with 30-35 grants being awarded per day. An average of £188,000 is being awarded per week with most people receiving money within 48 hours of their applications being considered.

The charity is expecting to see more households applying as families return to their homes - many are still in temporary accommodation.

“The Flood Recovery Appeal has so far responded to the immediate crisis phase of the flooding. We know, however, that recovery takes a long time. Our experience of managing flood funds in 2005 and 2009 tells us that we will need to continue to support some families for 12-18 months after the floods.

“We need to be able to help re-build valuable community facilities and to support the work that charities have done to support people affected by the floods.

“If the appeal continues to spend at the current rate it would be spent up by July 2016. Our trustees are monitoring expenditure to ensure those in greatest need are prioritised.

“We encourage anyone facing financial hardship as a result of the flooding to seek help through the Appeal if they have not done so already.”

– Andy Beeforth, Cumbria Community Foundation chief executive