100K pot to help businesses recover

Patricia Banyard from Hebden Bridge Antiques wants more help for businesses
Patricia Banyard from Hebden Bridge Antiques wants more help for businesses

Another £100,000 is to be pumped into the scheme to help shops and businesses recover from the devastating floods in the upper Calder Valley.

It will help pay for a campaign to “reinvigorate the local economy” and culminate in Christmas celebrations.

Calderdale Council Cabinet has decided to use money from its economic fighting fund, which has recently been given £100,000 from the Government’s High Street Innovation Fund.

The council’s Labour leader Tim Swift said about 250 businesses had been affected by flooding between Todmorden and Sowerby Bridge and 30 per cent are still closed. “Even if they continue to trade, they will be badly affected by the loss of income from the reduced footfall and may succumb to closure.”

The council has already set aside £200,000 to support businesses and has given another £50,000 to the community foundation flood relief fund. The extra £100,000 will support the new promotional campaigns including the purchase of Christmas trees.

Officers from the council have visited over 200 of the businesses affected by flooding so far and found that issues raised include concerns over flood insurance premiums, requests for support for flood barriers oo flood defence systems, concerns over cash-flow as a result of loss of trading income and loss of stock as a result of the floods.

Deputy council leader Janet Battye said: “It is intended to be a flexible fund to help businesses recover.”

Councillors have also set aside £2,500 for a Calderdale Literary trail to promote tourism and £5,500 to encourage local taxi drivers to become ambassadors for the whole area, as they are often the first point of contact for visitors.