FLOOD funding offered by Worcestershire County Council in the wake of the winter floods has been labelled as “invaluable” by grateful business owners.
Deni Harper-Adams is set to receive £4,500 after her company, Worcester Riding School, based in Clifton, was devastated by floodwater in February.
The money is from funding provided by central government and then administered by the County Council.
“We had to rescue several ponies that were trapped by flood water late one Friday night,” Ms Harper-Adams said. “By the next morning, the flood water had risen and cornered over a dozen of our horses as well.
“The fields were uninhabitable, the water kept coming and I knew we were in trouble. Several riding schools have gone to the wall in recent years and I thought we could be next.”
Ms Harper-Adams estimates 90 per cent of the 100 acre grazing land was destroyed by the flooding, along with stocks of hay feed for more than eighty horses and ponies and much of the fencing around the area was damaged.
Within days of being flooded and the School being put forward for the funds, a county council representative called Ms Harper-Adams to help her through the process.
“I appreciated being able to speak to someone and get help,” she added. “It was invaluable and will help us stay in business.”
The money will be used to pay for replacement feed, repairing the fencing and clearing the debris washed up by the water.
Richard Hill, manager of The Quay restaurant in the city, which is now re-open after several weeks of refurbishment, has also received the same amount
“I am glad for the support – it has given the business some breathing space,” he said.
“We just had a great Mother’s Day weekend. The sun was shining and it’s good to be back trading as normal again.”
Coun Simon Geraghty, county council deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: “It was great to see first-hand the difference the money is making for businesses affected by the floods.
“I can see it has really helped them to once again be open for business quickly. I would urge anyone whose business has been affected but is yet to apply to do so now.”