19-Mar-2015 Source: EAAA
Chancellor George Osborne announced in today’s Budget that the East Anglian Air Ambulance is to receive a grant of 1.7 million from the LIBOR Fines Fund. The Chancellor’s announcement follows his pledge in December 2014 that all proceeds from Libor fines would be spent during this parliament on military and blue light causes.
This is a one-off grant, to help fund a second new EC145T2 helicopter, to be based in Norwich Airport, which will increase the Charity’s clinical capability and reach. EAAA hopes that the new helicopter will go into service early in 2016. The aircraft offers greater speed, endurance and capacity, enabling more lifesaving work in each shift.
EAAA Chief Executive, Patrick Peal, said: “We are enormously grateful for this one-off grant from the Treasury that will help fund a second EC145T2 helicopter which will greatly enhance the lifesaving service we provide for local people. Our grant application to the Chancellor received cross-party support from all our Norfolk MPs. I would, however, like to say a special thank you to Chloe Smith MP and Henry Bellingham MP, both of whom worked closely with EAAA to secure this result.”
Norwich North MP, Chloe Smith, said: “I campaigned with the EAAA to get this funding for a new helicopter which will further improve and enhance the service they provide for us. We’re all delighted to have won the funding; it means a lot to a well-loved local charity, headquartered in my constituency.”
Henry Bellingham MP for North West Norfolk said: “I am delighted with this announcement by the Chancellor, because this really will be a big boost to the East Anglian Air Ambulance which does such a superb job serving our communities and constituents. It is also very fitting that those people who behaved totally unethically in certain banks are making their recompense to society.”
The LIBOR fines were levied on banks manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) financial benchmark. The Association of Air Ambulances directly aided its member air ambulance charities to make applications to receive Libor fines. Clive Dickin, National Director, said; “We are delighted that the Association has been able to help its members in this way. EAAA are a committed member and air ambulance charity and this grant will enable them to continue to improve and develop their already excellent service for the critically ill patients it serves.”
In April, the charity’s first new EC145T2 will go into service at Cambridge Airport. Ordered four years ago, it is the first of its kind to go into service in England.