£100,000 more to help valley’s flood victims

editorial image

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.

Councillor Janet Battye (Lib-Dem, Calder) said: “In Hebden Bridege we are planning a Town Crier competition over the August Bank holiday and markets to help attract visitors, leading up to an even more successful Christmas shopping period.”

The cabinet has also agreed to create two coach parking spaces in Hebden Bridge to encourage more visitors.

The valley flood fund set up by the Community Foundation for Calderdale has raised £125,000. 
Shop owners in Hebden Bridge are also organising other events which they hope will attract droves of visitors.
“Hebden Rising” has been set up by Beate Kubitz, the owner of Makepiece, and has quickly attracted well over 100 internet members. It plans to organise shop swaps, art auctions, storytelling and literary events, and in October a Lantern Festival incorporating a food and drink festival.
“There are not many towns where you would find such a community feeling, where shop owners actively promote one another. This type of compassion makes Hebden Bridge such a wonderful place,” she said.

*Councillors have 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. far