The staggering cost of the devastating Boxing Day floods in Calderdale and Kirklees has been revealed.
A new study shows businesses in Calderdale have lost £47 million so far as a result of the Boxing Day floods.
And the total cost to the regional economy has been estimated at a staggering £170m.
They are some of the findings of a study into the impact of the floods on Calderdale’s business economy. Calderdale Council, the University of Leeds and social enterprise Upper Calder Valley Renaissance surveyed flood-affected businesses.
VIDEO: Flood damage along Calder and Hebble Canal
Mark Thompson, Calderdale Council’s acting director of economy and environment, said:
“The report confirms the enormity of the damage and the need for further financial support – the total economic impact to the Calderdale and Kirklees regional economy is around £170 million.
“However, it also highlights that yet again, in the face of the worst floods for a generation, Calderdale businesses have come together to help each other and are largely starting to bounce back.”
Over 1,600 businesses were affected by the deluge. The total amount of losses reported by the surveyed businesses is about £47 million – that’s around 12% of their annual turnover on average.
Some 45% of flooded premises suffered structural damage, 75% lost stock and 46% lost office equipment – almost double the losses faced after the floods in summer 2012. Employees have been laid off and more than 100 jobs are at risk in the next three months. Hundreds of businesses are now uninsurable or very high premiums make insurance unaffordable.
WATCH: Torrent of water flows through Park Road in Elland during Boxing Day floods
The council’s Business and Skills team continues to work very closely with flood-affected businesses and since Boxing Day 2015, the team has processed over 800 flood recovery grant applications.
Mr Thompson said: “The scale of damage highlighted in the report reaffirms the need for more financial support to help the business community. The council and other organisations continue to do lots to help, and we’re really pleased with the funding awards we’ve received so far. We continue to press the Government for further support.”
The business survey and resulting report will help the council to understand the cost of the damage, to feed into the Floods Commission and to supplement the information about the effects of the floods provided to the Government.
By the end of March 2016, around 83% of flood-affected businesses were back in operation across Calderdale, and three out of five businesses have recovered 50% of their normal sales since Boxing Day.