Osborne answers Boycott’s call for Yorkshire air ambulance help

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GEORGE Osborne today promised £1 million to help meet the cost of a new air ambulance for Yorkshire following a direct appeal from cricket legend Geoffrey Boycott.

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25 Aug 2015...Chancellor George Osborne chats with Geoffrey Boycott and paramedics during a visit to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance facility at Nostell Priory near Wakefield. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1009/26c

25 Aug 2015...Chancellor George Osborne chats with Geoffrey Boycott and paramedics during a visit to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance facility at Nostell Priory near Wakefield. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1009/26c

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The money for Yorkshire Air Ambulance will come from the fines levied on banks for breaching financial regulations.

Mr Osborne visited the charity’s base in West Yorkshire today alongside Mr Boycott to make the announcement.

The Chancellor said: “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.

“It’s a brilliant charity that saves lives across Yorkshire, a county very much at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.

“This funding – and the £10 million the government has donated to Air Ambulances across the country in the past year – comes from fines levied on banks, and it’s only right that funds from those who have demonstrated the worst values should go to those, like the dedicated and skilled air ambulance crews and their supporters who demonstrate the best of British values on a daily basis.”

Mr Osborne agreed to provide the money after he was approached by Mr Boycott, a supporter of the charity.

The money will be used to help Yorkshire Air Ambulance replace the older of its two helicopters.

Mr Boycott said: “They need to raise £12,000 a day to keep both helicopters maintained and in the air and a lot of their support currently comes from those they have helped or a relative. But the truth is none of us know when we, or a loved one, may have a life or death situation and need their assistance.

“We recently managed to raise over £34,000 for the charity at a fundraising dinner. But we also wanted to raise awareness that contrary to public belief our air ambulance needs help from the residents it services to keep going. I also wrote to the Chancellor and today is a fantastic response to that letter. I know the people of Yorkshire will join in with us to say a very big thank you.”