Air ambulance charities awarded £250,000 each of Libor fine

Air ambulance Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Air ambulances receive no government funding or National Lottery money

Air ambulance charities across the country are to receive grants of £250,000 each from a banking fine fund.

The life-saving services are each to receive a part of the £5m paid to the government in Libor fines.

The Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) estimated that 800 lives could be saved each year because of this and other relief schemes.

Clive Dickin, AAA national director, said it was "excellent news".

The £5m was announced as part of the autumn statement but details of how it would be divided has only just been revealed.

'Save many lives'

Chancellor George Osborne said: "It is absolutely right that we use funds from those who demonstrated the worst values to reward those who demonstrate the best."

Air ambulance charities serving Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset, East Anglia, Essex and Herts, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Kent Surrey and Sussex, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, London, Midlands, Thames Valley and Chiltern, Wiltshire and Yorkshire are to receive money.

The Great North Air Ambulance, Great Western Air Ambulance, MAGPAS, North West Air Ambulance Charity, the AAA and Wales Air Ambulance and Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance are also beneficiaries.

Mr Dickin said: "Each of the 20 charities will use the funds in ways that will increase availability, types of activity, and overall patient care at a local level and this donation will ultimately help air ambulances across the UK to save many lives."

Air ambulances are not funded directly by the government and receive no National Lottery grants.

Additional money has already been granted to three air ambulance charities.

An announcement was also made last year on relief of VAT for air ambulance charities and aviation fuel.

The AAA estimated the changes would be worth over £15m over the next five years and could mean saving 800 more lives each year.

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