Almost £1 million has been awarded by Maritime Minister Robert Goodwill today (18 February 2016) to 51 UK charities to support water rescue services in local communities.
The government scheme gives voluntary groups crucial funding for new equipment and training to support their rescue efforts on and around inland and inshore waterways.
The money is for the purchase of lifeboats, launch vehicles, rafts and safety gear, as well as going towards training and other costs to support lifesaving efforts.
This is the second year of the 5 year scheme. In January 2015 more than £800,000 was awarded to 21 charities across the UK.
Details of those who have shared the £1.7 million government funding over the last 2 years has been published.
Maritime Minister Robert Goodwill, who is also the Ministerial Flood Recovery Envoy for Yorkshire, said:
This funding recognises the enormous efforts of voluntary rescue boat teams and their tireless work in providing 24/7 services during emergencies and extreme weather.
These groups often rely on charitable donations to sustain their operations. This additional funding will make a real difference to them and the communities they serve, enabling them to buy the essential equipment and training which will save more lives and keep crews safe.
An expert panel — including representatives from the devolved administrations, Defra, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and the Royal Yachting Association — assessed applications submitted to the Department for Transport under the 2015 to 2016 round of the scheme on the basis of:
- how the equipment or training will be used to support lifesaving, search and rescue operations and flood response capability locally and nationally
- whether the funding will deliver wider community benefits
- how the equipment and skills will bring sustainable benefits
Bids for funding were accepted from UK charities as defined in the Charities Act 2006. Other criteria are set out in the guidance notes published on GOV.UK.
The annual £1 million fund also covers administration of the scheme.