The Environment Agency (EA) this morning updated the local business community on flood alleviation work planned for Hebden Bridge. There is a funding shortfall, which the EA told those at Hebden Bridge Town Hall Business Association breakfast they felt sure they could make up. Though one possible additional line of funding is from European Structural and Investment Funds, the EA said access to those funds are not impacted by Brexit, because they remain accessible until 2023.
Management of the reservoirs has the potential to provide significant benefit to Hebden Bridge, said the EA. Those EA staff at the meeting said they, personally, were not flood modellers, but they gave a broad brush painting of the mathematical model the EA is working with. It comprises orders of relevance stemming from water courses, then flood plains and, finally, localised structures. They dismissed the view that alternates put forward by locals relating to the aquaduct and the main bridge in Hebden Bridge would be of value. In response to concerns that solving the problems in Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd would shift them elsewhere, the EA said they were not allowed to shift problems, and if one alleviation scheme did so, then compensatory measures had to be taken elsewhere.
Members of the Federation of Small Businesses from locations beyond Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd were at the meeting.