Speak out on flood work, firms urged

Richard Wright of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Richard Wright of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The executive director of Sheffield’s Chamber of Trade has urged businesses to have their say on a “once-in-a-lifetime” consultation designed to protect them from flooding.

Richard Wright spoke out as the deadline nears –on Monday, October 31.

He said the chamber had worked with Sheffield City Council to protect businesses in the Lower Don Valley – but that the current consultation for the Upper Don, Sheaf and Porter Valleys still needed feedback from businesses.

Council chiefs say that the £83m scheme could potentially help protect 1,760 businesses, 6,000 homes and 32,707 jobs if the city was to flood again.

Mr Wright said: “The chamber took a leading role in helping businesses recover from the floods nine years ago.

“We saw at first hand the devastating effects they had on businesses all down the Don Valley and some of the tributary rivers.

“Without insurance and a quick response from the insurers, plus help around cash flow from HMRC, we would have lost many businesses.

“It is critical that we install flood protection to a minimum standard to ensure we can get ongoing cover and control its cost. We have worked hard with the city council to put together a scheme in the Lower Don Valley, supported by the businesses there, that should do that but the rest of Sheffield needs it as well.

“It is absolutely vital that businesses and householders in vulnerable areas get their views into the current consultation before the deadline.”

The 2007 floods caused an estimated £1billion of damage.

Go to www.floodprotectionsheffield.com