Cornwall Search and Rescue Team has been given more than £33,000 to continue its work saving lives and expand its reach by becoming a recognised ‘national asset.’

The money is a share of £1 million awarded by the government’s Rescue Boat Fund and was announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps this week.

Last year the Cornish team, which regularly carries out rescues from rivers and flooding as part of its remit, split operationally into two separate charities: East Cornwall Search and Rescue Team and West Cornwall Search and Rescue.

The £33,862.87 received – the fourth grant from the fund in four years – will primarily be spent in East Cornwall, on a front line rescue vehicle that will be used to tow the team’s boat and water rescue trailer filled with specialist equipment.

However, the West Cornwall team – which last year received funds for dry suits and other safety gear – will have access to it.

It will also go to support a new bid that is in the process of being put together, which, if successful, would see West Cornwall, East Cornwall and Tavistock search and rescue teams join together under the National Asset Register.

This would mean they could be called anywhere in the country in the event of a national emergency.

Trustee Jim Gallienne, who is also a member of the East Cornwall team, said: “We’ll be able to deploy to national incidents as an amalgamation.

“This will definitely help us with our equipment and also the transport for us to be able to register that asset.”

Cornwall Search and Rescue were one of 50 charities nationally to receive a share of the funds this year and one of ten in the south west.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Our rescue boat teams carry out vital work to keep our rivers, lakes and inshore areas safe.

“These inspirational charities and their dedicated volunteers save lives every day, and this additional funding will ensure that they have the craft, equipment, and resources to provide these services year-round.”