Flood-hit traders star in ‘Open For Business’ Film

26 May 2016

A FILM showcasing how Whalley and Ribchester traders have battled the odds to ‘open for business’ following the Boxing Day floods is launched today (Wednesday, May 25).

The film, written in rhyming couplets, showcases Whalley and Ribchester’s unique visitor and retail offer as part of a Government social media campaign aimed at putting flood-affected businesses back on the map.

The national spotlight fell on Ribble Valley in December, when it suffered the worst floods in 50 years.

A Government campaign, #openforbusiness, was launched at Easter featuring a digital map showcasing shops and attractions in flood-affected areas that had reopened.

Ribble Valley businesses directly or indirectly affected by the floods are featured on the map, which is currently the subject of a national advertising campaign.

Now they are starring in a short film produced by Ribble Valley Borough Council in association with Marketing Lancashire and the Department for Communities and Local Government outlining how they have beaten the odds to get back to business.

And shoppers and visitors throughout the North are being invited to visit Whalley and Ribchester over the bank holiday weekend or summer months to see what their independent, specialist shops have to offer.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst said: “The December floods were the worst in the borough for over 50 years and some of the shops featured in this film were devastated.

“The resilience and dedication of these traders in reopening in time for the summer season are to be congratulated and our message to shoppers and visitors is this: It is ‘business as usual’ in Ribble Valley.

“I hope Lancashire people will do their bit for the flood-relief by visiting Whalley or Ribchester, where they can be assured of a warm welcome.”

Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “We are working hard to ensure that tourism businesses are given as much support as possible as they recover from the floods.

“We lobbied for Government support for the county’s flood-hit businesses and were delighted when we secured a place in this national campaign to firmly shout that Lancashire is definitely open for business.

“Lancashire is full of world-class attractions that are very much open for business and this film will showcase some of the fantastic places that are ready to welcome shoppers and visitors.”

The #openforbusiness campaign is part of a £1million Government marketing boost aimed at attracting visitors to flood-affected areas in the North.

Communities minister James Wharton said: “Five months on from the floods, communities have shown remarkable spirit and determination to get back to normal as quickly as possible.
“It is vital that people both locally and across the country get the message loud and clear that Ribble Valley is open for business and this film will help to do that.

“This comes on top of the £250million package of Government support put in place to help homes and businesses affected by December’s devastating floods.”
According to official figures, in 2014 Ribble Valley attracted 3.7million visitors, who spent £187million and supported 2,754 full-time equivalent jobs.

Whalley is famous for its 13th Century Cistercian abbey, 49-arch viaduct, which is considered a triumph of Victorian engineering, and exclusive shopping, while the ancient riverside village of Ribchester is built on the site of a former Roman fort and its award-winning museum features a Roman helmet discovered in 1797.

The Ribble Valley #open for business film is available at ribblevalley.gov.uk or youtu.be/xJMS5pKV48U.

Further information about days out in Ribble Valley is available from the Clitheroe Visitor Information Centre on 01200 425566 or visitribblevalley.co.uk.

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