Council cash for Calder Valley flood firms

Flooding aftermath in Hebden Bridge'Picture: Craig Shaw/ blu planet photography'
Flooding aftermath in Hebden Bridge'Picture: Craig Shaw/ blu planet photography'

Calderdale Council is to make £250,000 available to help flood-hit businesses in the Calder Valley.

The “Recovery Investment for a Stronger Economy Fund” will be drawn from the Council’s economic fighting fund.

It will initially be used to provide short-term help to get businesses back up and running, but will also consider longer-term support to ensure that the businesses are sustainable.

The announcement of much-needed help comes just days before Prince Charles is due to visit some of the most badly-affected businesses in the Calder Valley.

The council has already been supporting businesses by clearing up, providing environmental health and safety advice and getting out the message that ‘against the odds - we are open for business’.

The extra financial support will come as welcome news.

Council leader, Tim Swift, said there was an urgent need to help the worst affected businesses.

“While many in the Calder Valley have already re-opened, there are some that are in real need of practical and financial help.

“And many that are now trading again still need help to ensure that they are viable in the longer term - the RISE fund will ensure that they receive that help.”

Economy and environment spokesman Coun Barry Collins, said it is right for the council to take a lead in helping businesses.

“We also hope that some of the larger businesses and organisations in Calderdale and across the wider region will follow our lead and think about how they can help.

“Residents in the Calder Valley have shown magnificent community spirit, helping each other to pick up the pieces following the devastating floods. I am confident that businesses will show that same community spirit by providing practical help, either in cash or in kind.

“More than 200 businesses in the Calder Valley have been affected by the floods in some way and many of them need our help.

“The Council is making RISE money available and, over the next few days we will be working out the details of how businesses can ask for that help.

Deputy leader and Calder ward councillor, Janet Battye, said the response by Calder Valley businesses to the floods has been magnificent.

“Having talked personally to many local shops and businesses, I know they have been badly hit by the floods. I’m concerned that a number are struggling to keep going or get back into business. It’s important that as the local Council, we do what we can to support them.”