Free flood surveys and follow-up support available to eligible businesses

The University of Hull’s Flood Innovation Centre is offering free flood risk surveys to business owners in Hull, East Yorkshire and various areas around the country, who are keen to protect their premises, employees and other assets against the risk of flooding.

Once a survey has been carried out, the Flood Innovation Centre team can then work with business owners to help them understand the findings of their survey and how to make changes aimed at making their businesses more resilient to flooding.

The team is able to provide support to eligible Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) using funding from the European Regional Development Fund, but this funding won’t be available beyond the end of the year so businesses are urged to act now if they’d like to benefit from the support on offer.

Pip Betts, Project Manager at the Flood Innovation Centre, said:

“We have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in flood resilience and flood innovation here at the Flood Innovation Centre but, because we’re funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund, the support that we can offer to businesses won’t be available forever.

“That’s why it’s so important that business owners who want to ensure that their premises, employees, stock and other assets are protected against the risk of flooding make contact with our team as soon as possible to have a chat about getting their free flood risk survey booked in, and learn more about the additional support we can provide to help them act on the findings of their survey. The climate crisis means that the need to take action to mitigate and adapt to flood events has never been so vital.

Communities across our region face a variety of different types of flood risk, and climate change, coupled with increasing urbanisation, means that flood events are happening more frequently. Fifteen years ago, during the 2007 floods, more than 1300 business premises were damaged in Hull alone. The Environment Agency estimates that the average cost of damage suffered by businesses during a flood event is around £82,000. As many as 40 per cent of businesses never reopen after being flooded, and a further 25 per cent of businesses that do reopen go on to fail within a year.

Thankfully, by taking a few simple steps to protect their premises, businesses can give themselves a fighting chance of surviving future flooding events. In fact, every £1 spent on property flood resilience measures can save businesses around £5 in flood damage.  Property flood resilience is a term used to describe measures that reduce the risk of flood damage to properties, speed up the recovery process and enable people to get back into their properties quicker after flooding. These measures are installed in business premises, as well as people’s homes, to make them less vulnerable to flooding. Property flood resilience solutions are bespoke to each property; the aim is to identify the measures that are most appropriate for your premises and the type of flooding you face.

Any businesses that are concerned about flooding and its potential impact on their activities but don’t know where to start, are encouraged to contact the Flood Innovation Centre by telephoning 01482 462275, emailing flic@hull.ac.uk or completing our online registration form at www.floodinnovation.co.uk/register.

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