Chancellor George Osborne donates £1m to Yorkshire Air Ambulance after Geoffrey Boycott intervenes

The money will come from fines levied on banks and will go towards replacing one of the charity's helicopters

Osborne (centre) with Boycott (left) and Sunderland of the charity
Osborne (centre) with Boycott (left) and Sunderland of the charity

The government has pledged to donate £1m towards the cost of a new helicopter for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, yesterday visited the charity at its base at Nostell Priory, near Wakefield, to announce the funds, which will come from fines levied on banks.

The move came after the former cricketer Geoffrey Boycott wrote to Osborne to ask for government support for the charity.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance said the money would enable it to order a replacement for the oldest of its two air ambulances, which was 15 years old and becoming increasingly more expensive to maintain.

The new helicopter, which will cost £5.7m, is expected to be delivered to the charity by September next year.

Osborne said Yorkshire Air Ambulance was a "brilliant charity".

He added: "Geoffrey Boycott asked the government for support, and I am delighted to able to donate £1m towards funding a new helicopter for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Peter Sunderland, chair of Yorkshire Air Ambulance, said: "The phenomenal donation we have received today will allow us to work towards fulfilling our mission to provide Yorkshire with the highest-quality rapid response emergency service – and I express my sincere thanks for this exceptional contribution."

Air ambulances are among the charities to have benefited already from funds raised by the government through fines levied on banks.

In last year’s Autumn Statement, Osborne announced that they would receive VAT refunds, which the Association of Air Ambulances expected would save about £10m over five years.

He had already announced in last year’s Budget that air ambulances would receive VAT relief on fuel.

Andy Ricketts

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