Keeping the Cash Tills Ringing in Flood Affected Areas

The owner of Tadcaster’s oldest high street business is urging people to continue to shop in the town to support local businesses.

Martin Raggett owns Allen’s Ironmongers on Bridge Street which has been in the town for 164 years.

Businesses on the street were among those affected by the December 2015 floods which caused the town’s bridge to fall into the River Wharfe.

Many of the shops are now up and running again, and a new footbridge is being installed by North Yorkshire County Council, but with footfall down, Martin is encouraging people to continue to shop and support their local businesses.

Martin said: “Everyone has been working around the clock and around 60-70 per cent of businesses in the street are now back up and running. Business isn’t too bad – considering, but with the bridge down we don’t get the same passing trade. We are about 25 per cent down on sales. There has been a great spirit getting us through the floods which needs to continue to help everyone get through this.”

Grants to help businesses with their immediate recovery were delivered by the Local Enterprise Partnership with help from Make it York, and since then news about business rates relief and additional £5,000 grants have been announced and businesses notified.

Assembly of sections of Tadcaster’s new temporary metal bridge have begun on site and the first section was pushed out across the river on Friday, 29 January. The bridge will span from the Selby District Council car park to Tadcaster Town Council land, with an access path through Tadcaster Albion football club’s car park.

A spokesman from North Yorkshire County Council said work is continuing seven days a week, 12 hours a day, and the target is to have the bridge open to the public during the week commencing 8 February.

County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Member for Tadcaster, added: “The town has shown a tremendous community spirit in coping with the bridge collapse that has separated the town. I thank our highways officers who responded immediately to this crisis. As residents will be aware, there is a great deal of activity as the contractors strive to get this bridge into place as quickly as possible, because they recognise the importance of this bridge for the wellbeing of the town.”

York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Deputy Chair David Kerfoot, MBE DL said that market towns like Tadcaster are the backbone of our area’s economy and that we need to support them. He said: “Against all the odds many businesses managed to re-open incredibly quickly after the floods – helped by the amazing support of local residents and businesses. It is vital that we continue to support them by shopping there and keeping their cash tills ringing.”