Finance package offered to Peak District businesses affected by dam evacuation

Business owners in Whaley Bridge are being offered emergency funding after the town's evacuation amid fears a reservoir dam would burst.

By Lee Peace
Tuesday, 13 August, 2019, 13:56

Thousands of residents were evacuated from the Peak District town earlier this month when the dam wall at Toddbrook Reservoir became cracked and started to fall away following torrential rainfall.

Residents have since been allowed to trturn to their homes after a major operation involving a multi-agency taskforce consisting of the Environment Agency, South Yorkshire and Derbyshire firefighters, the Canal River Trust, police, military and many others, managed to reduce the reservoir water to safe levels.

Sand bags at the dam.

The Government has now activated the Bellwin scheme - an emergency fund usually reserved to help areas affected by disasters – to offer financial help to people in Whaley Bridge.

Business owners will receive up to £100, 000 in emergency funding to cover uninsurable costs.

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In addition, High Peak Borough Council will receive £150,000 to help the ‘recovery of the local economy.’

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The recent bad weather has had an enormously disruptive impact on the Whaley Bridge economy.

“We’re providing £100,000 of emergency funding to affected businesses to help them get back up and running as quickly as possible.

“We’re also working with the local authority and partners to ensure practical support on the ground.”

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers added; “The recent spells of heavy rain and bad weather have had devastating effects on farms, communities and businesses, and it is vital that we help local people to get back on their feet.

“We are working closely with key agencies in affected areas - including Whaley Bridge - to find the best ways to support them, and make sure businesses can recover as quickly as possible.”