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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber offers free year-long membership to businesses affected by Toddbrook Reservoir incident

The Chamber continues to work with partners to offer comprehensive support to local businesses which have been - and continue to be - affected by the potential collapse of Toddbrook Dam.

The significant threat to life and property saw residents of Whaley Bridge evacuated and the village deserted for a full six days – causing unprecedented disruption to local businesses in the area.

As part of the rapid response – and in the weeks since the incident - the Chamber has been working intensively with key partners Derbyshire County Council, High Peak Borough Council, D2N2 Growth Hub, Environment Agency, Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire and the FSB to support those affected at a difficult time.

And while crucial short-term support is available, the Chamber is offering longer-term support by providing free Chamber membership for a year to Whaley Bridge, New Mills and Furness Vale businesses. Those taking advantage of the complimentary membership will enjoy the same wide-ranging, comprehensive benefits available to paid-up standard members.

Diane Beresford, the Chamber’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Local businesses are the lifeblood of communities and we’re delighted to have worked with some excellent partners to offer and deliver crucial support to those affected at an extremely difficult time.

“The effects of the potential dam collapse will be felt for some time and by offering free year-long Chamber membership, those affected can be sure that the support available to help them recover and thrive will be available short, mid and long-term.

“I would urge businesses in Whaley Bridge, New Mills and Furness Vale to fully explore the extensive level of support available to them – whatever challenges they are currently facing.”

Over 160 representatives from affected businesses met recently to understand the extent of support on offer.

This includes a Business Emergency Support Fund – which to date has received over 100 applications – and a Hardship Fund.

A Government grant has also been secured to facilitate the delivery of a dedicated programme of workshops ranging in topics from business continuity to digital skills enhancement.

Councillor Anthony McKeown, Leader of High Peak Borough Council, said: “The response from all sectors of the community to this incident has been remarkable. We, and our partners, want to ensure everyone affected can get back to normal as quickly as possible so support such as this being offered by the Chamber is extremely welcome.

“It complements and enhances the support and funding packages that have been put in place and I would urge affected businesses in Whaley Bridge, Furness Vale and New Mills to make full use of what has been made available as they return to business as usual.”

Businesses seeking initial advice or more information on available support can contact D2N2 Growth Hub on 0333 006 9178.

Businesses wishing to take advantage of free Chamber membership for a year can contact the Chamber’s Membership team on 0333 320 0333 extension 1 quoting ‘Whaley Bridge’.