NWDA pledges £1m to Cumbria businesses hit by flooding

Michael Hunt

Small businesses affected by flooding in Cumbria have been given welcome news from North West Development Agency after it pledged £1m worth of support.

Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the NWDA, confirmed today that the agency would help small businesses affected by the recent flooding.

The agency has been working closely with Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and Government Office North West to offer the agency's full support in the efforts to assist businesses damaged by the flooding.

Broomhead said: "We know that there will undoubtedly be a severe impact on businesses in some parts of Cumbria and it is crucial that funding is made available to those businesses in urgent need. The NWDA has today pledged up to £1m to support small businesses in need of additional funding at this time. Any businesses in need of support should contact our Business Link Northwest service which is geared-up to provide frontline advice to businesses that are dealing with the effects of flooding."

The NWDA is committed to working in partnership with the new Cumbria Business Recovery Team to assess the economic implications of the flood and to develop a recovery plan as required.

The news follows the visit of Prime Minister Gordon Brown to Cumbria on Saturday, which is the worst hit area having seen record rainfall.

Heavy rain over the last few days has left hundreds of people sheltering in rescue centres, hotels and with family and friends, with the expectation that some will not be able to move back into their homes for up to six months.

Water levels were receding yesterday, but five bridges have already collapsed in the area, including one in Workington which resulted in the death of Police Constable Bill Barker, who was directing motorists off the bridge when it collapsed, sweeping him down river.

Businesses affected by the recent flooding in Cumbria should contact Business Link Northwest on 0845 00 66 888.

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