Businesses in the angling trade affected by last winter’s floods have been given the green light to apply for compensation after the sport’s governing body secured a commitment from the government.
Tackle shops throughout the southern regions were devastated by horrendous flooding earlier in the year and officials at the Angling Trust have now been informed that new Fisheries Minister George Eustice will allow those affected to apply for part of a £10m Business Support Scheme fund.
Trust Chief Executive Mark Lloyd has been campaigning for access to the money since February and said: “We urge all fisheries, clubs and tackle shops that have been directly affected by the floods to apply for this support.“
“There was a real risk that our trade could have been overlooked which would have been monstrously unfair as angling directly employs 40,000 people and contributes nearly £4 billion to the economy.“
“It’s fair to say that some businesses were very close to having to shut up shop as a result of the dreadful conditions this winter.”
One of those that felt the pinch was Worcestershire’s Bewdley Tackle & Leisure and boss Adam Sheriff is delighted at the decision. He told Angling Times: “There were days during the flooding when I was lucky to take £10 a day in takings and I estimate trade to be at least 70 per cent down on previous seasons.”
“I applied for compensation earlier in the year and was unsuccessful but upon this news I will definitely be trying again.”
HOW IT WORKS
The scheme will be administered by local authorities who have been given guidance to support businesses which have suffered either direct flood damage to premises or stock and significant loss of business as a result of people being unable to get to the shop.
In addition, angling businesses that have been flooded since December 2013 will qualify for 100 per cent business rate relief for three months as well as being able to apply for a new Repair and Renewal grant of up to £5,000 to contribute to work that improves a property’s ability to withstand future flooding.