Film puts spotlight on villages as they bounce back from floods

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A film showcasing how Whalley and Ribchester traders have battled the odds to open for business following the Boxing Day floods has been launched this week.

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 which 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.

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 independent, specialist shops have to offer.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst said: “The December floods were the worst 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 is 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.

“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: “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.”

Further information about days out in Ribble Valley isavailable from the Clitheroe Visitor Information Centre on 01200 425566 or by logging on to the website at www.visitribblevalley.co.uk.