Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the reopening of the flood-damaged train line at Dawlish, declaring: “The South West is well and truly open for business.”
Mr Cameron was in Dawlish for the reopening on 4 April, following eight weeks of work to repair damage to the line – which connects the South West to the rest of England – by winter storms. The project was completed ahead of schedule and in time for the Easter holidays, a boost for tourism businesses.
He described the successful completion of the work as “a great day for the hard-working people of Dawlish, and for businesses and commuters across the South West whose lives have been turned upside down by the devastating loss of their train line.
“Back in February when I visited the town to see the damage for myself, I promised to do everything I could to get this vital artery back up and running as quickly as possible. I am delighted to say that promise has been delivered…a promise which says that the South West is well and truly open for business.”
The government has also announced a package of measures to support businesses, including caravan and holiday parks, affected by floods. They include:
- a repair and renew of up to £5,000 each for all affected businesses and homeowners, to top up any money received from insurers and make sure flood resilience is built into repairs
- a £10 million business support scheme fund to support businesses to develop and implement business recovery plans. The scheme includes businesses that have been indirectly affected, for example through floods resulting in no or very limited access to premises or causing a significant loss of trade
- an estimated £9 million to give all flood-affected businesses 100 per cent business rate relief for three months and to give them an extra three months to pay the business taxes they owe to HM Revenue & Customs as they get back on their feet
- £2 million to provide practical assistance to tourism businesses in coastal areas to help them boost summer trade.
More information on schemes to support businesses is available here.
At Milsted Langdon, we can provide expert advice to caravan and holiday park businesses affected by floods, including making grant applications or liaising with HM Revenue & Customs on tax issues.
The devastation caused by the floods also underlines the value of having in place a disaster recovery plan to help businesses identify risks and the likelihood of them happening, to help prepare for and minimise losses in the event of weather-related and other disasters, such as fire, theft or an IT system breakdown.
Milsted Langdon can advise on issues to be considered in putting in place a disaster recovery, to help businesses prepare for – and carry on trading as quickly as possible – should the worst happen. For more information, please contact us.