Pledge to boost flood defences

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Two leading Sheffield businesses have thrown their weight behind plans to raise additional funding from companies for multi-million pound flood defences to protect the Lower Don Valley.

Sheffield Forgemasters, whose Brightside Lane plant was inundated during the 2007 floods in Sheffield, and Gripple, which has premises in Savile Street and Brightside Lane, are both backing the initiative.

Most of the £7.2 million for the scheme to build new flood walls, install floodgates and clear a 5m stretch of the River Don from the city centre to Blackburn Brook is being sought from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

However, businesses in the area are being expected to contribute £1.4 million through a Business Improvement District, or BID.

Victoria Hinchcliffe, group environment director at Forgemasters, says: “Flooding continues to pose a risk to businesses throughout the Lower Don Valley and is an obstacle in the way of the area meeting its development potential.”