East Midlands Chamber offers FREE year-long membership to businesses hit by Toddbrook Reservoir incident

East Midlands Chamber is offering free membership for a whole year to businesses impacted by the incident at Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge. Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP.
East Midlands Chamber is offering free membership for a whole year to businesses impacted by the incident at Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge. Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP.

Businesses impacted by the incident at Toddbrook Reservoir are being offered a free year-long membership to East Midlands Chamber.

The chamber - which covers Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire - has been supporting businesses in the wake of the emergency which saw 1,500 Whaley Bridge residents evacuated from their homes and unprecedented disruption to the local economy.

While crucial short-term support is available, the chamber is offering longer-term support by providing free membership for a year to Whaley Bridge, New Mills and Furness Vale businesses.

READ MORE: Emergency funding announced to aid Whaley Bridge recovery

Those taking advantage of the complimentary membership will enjoy the same wide-ranging 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.”

In the weeks since the emergency, the chamber has been working with Derbyshire County Council, High Peak Borough Council, D2N2 Growth Hub, the Environment Agency, Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire and The Federation of Small Businesses to support affected businesses.

Financial support on offer 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 fund a dedicated programme of workshops, with topics ranging from business continuity to digital skills enhancement.

READ MORE: Toddbrook Reservoir owners move to reassure Whaley Bridge residents after heavy rain

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 the support available can contact D2N2 Growth Hub on 0333 006 9178.

To take advantage of free chamber membership for a year, contact the membership team on 0333 320 0333 (extension 1), quoting ‘Whaley Bridge’.