A flood-ravaged community in the Yorkshire Dales has secured the thousands of pounds of funding that it needs to urgently protect the community from the risk of further disasters.
Arkengarthdale Parish Council had warned it faced a £10,000 shortfall to clear a local beck of miles of debris left in the wake of the devastating flash floods that inundated parts of the upper Dales on July 30.
As reported in The Yorkshire Post last week, the parish council had been told it would not be considered for emergency help from a disaster fund at the time, because Two Ridings Community Foundation, which is managing the fund, was prioritising helping flooded households.
But the York-based foundation has now agreed to award £10,000 to the parish council, amid a flurry of other private donations.
The response means the bulk of vital clearance work along a four-mile stretch of Arkle Beck is now expected to be completed within the next two weeks.
Stephen Stubbs, chairman of Arkengarthdale Parish Council, said: “The response to our appeal is incredibly humbling, that so many parties have reached out... is wonderful. We are overwhelmed with their understanding, support and kindness.”
He added: “We are determined to do everything we can to give families and businesses protection and peace of mind, doing as much as we are able to minimise the risk of further flooding. Our aim is to ensure that our dale does not suffer again.”
Parts of Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale suffered unprecedented flash floods when up to 3.2in (82.2mm) of rain fell in 24 hours. Mr Stubbs said: “We are experiencing more extreme weather and nobody can guarantee there won’t be floods in the future, but we can do our best to reduce the risk.”
Homes and businesses were hit, including the Red Lion Inn in Langthwaite which is not expected to reopen until after Christmas, and Mr Stubbs said:
“There is a real sadness and eerie feeling coming home on an evening and passing the iconic Red Lion Inn, with no lights and four skips placed outside.
“We hope the community will be reassured by the tangible efforts and action, seeing their properties and businesses being protected and supporting their wellbeing.”
After the funding shortfall in Arkengarthdale was highlighted in The Yorkshire Post last week, local estate owner, the Duke of Norfolk doubled his earlier donation to £10,000.
Other funds have been gifted by Charles Cody, owner of local business The CB Inn, while Joe Rafferty, of the cancelled Ard Rock mountain bike event in Swaledale, has offered a further £10,000.
Volunteers from the mountain-biking fraternity and the Dales Bike Centre in Fremington have supported the clean-up efforts so far, while Richmondshire District Council has removed contaminated material from Langthwaite.