Harrogate Borough Council urges flood victims to register for help

The River Nidd flooding by Knaresborough Waterside. Picture: Mike Whorley
The River Nidd flooding by Knaresborough Waterside. Picture: Mike Whorley

A Knaresborough business is back on track with some help from the council and the community after Boxing Day floods hit the town.

Marigolds cafe lost stock, equipment and two days worth of valuable business when the River Nidd burst its banks.

But less than two weeks on the cafe is up and running and could potentially have access to a government grant to help businesses hit by flooding.

Co-owner of Marigolds, Jo Connolly said: “The council have been good they came to pick up the waste free of charge.

We have also been contacted about a grant from the government by the council. It’s a grant to help people who have been affected by the floods.

“They are putting us forward to see if we are eligible, so hopefully we will get something from that because it all helps.”

The government has set up a number of funding pots to assist people that have been affected by flooding.

The first is a business flood recovery scheme which allows each business to apply for a grant of up to £2,500 to assist with additional costs not covered by insurance.

The second is a community grant given to the local authority which allows each affected household to be given a fixed payment of up to £500.

Throughout the district the grants are being administered by Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) who are urging people to register for assistance.

But it wasn't just business properties hit by the floods in the town.

Knaresborough Mayor Andrew Willoughby said: “Three caravan and park home sites on York Road were evacuated.

“These were Nidderdale Lodge Park, Riverside and Lorisholme Caravan Parks.

“More than 40 properties were affected and will need various degrees of repair, a small number were condemned.

“Many of these are not holiday homes but are peoples only home.”

A number of other houses along Abbey Road and Waterside were also affected.

On the morning that the floods hit, the Town Council sent their Emergency Response group out to open Knaresborough House as a refuge centre.

But with the forecasts threatening more rain, the team is in need of more local people to volunteer.

Chairman on the Emergency Response Group, Councillor John Batt (Con) said: “We are always looking for people to join the team.

On this occasion it was difficult finding people to come out because most people had gone away on a Christmas break but we are always looking for volunteers.”

But it’s not just the response group who are concerned by the forecasts.

Ms Connolly said: “We are maintaining a close eye on the river and putting the flood gates up every night just in case.

“It’s a concern that is why we are taking the precaution, we haven’t had any flood warnings but with the amount of rain we are getting and the forecasts, we are being careful.”

The fate of the duck race has also been called into question after the annual event was cancelled due to the floods.

This year a special New Year’s Day walk had been organised for people to enjoy before heading down to the river for the start of the race.

But despite the unfortunate last minute cancellation, Mr Willoughby said it wasn't all bad news.

He said: “The walk went ahead, the duck race wasn't essential to the walk but nobody seemed too bothered one way or the other.

“We've all seen it before but people are wondering what day it will be held. They still have to hold it because they have sold the all the tickets.”