Grant to help future proof flood-hit valley business Russell Dean

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Renowned Mytholmroyd business Russell Dean Fine Furnishers is to receive a grant from Calderdale Council to put towards flood resilience measures.

At a meeting of Calderdale Council’s cabinet last week, members agreed to award a £75,000 grant to Stokers Ltd, which owns Russell Dean, towards flood resilience measures to be included as part of a new building for the business in Mytholmroyd.

The grant is part of the council’s £3m fund agreed by cabinet to boost the flood recovery and resilience programme.

Established in 1960, Russell Dean is located in the heart of Mytholmroyd village and its furniture showroom was badly damaged by flooding in both 2012 and on Boxing Day.

In last winter’s deluge the ground floor of the business, which makes up eighty per cent of the store, was affected and has not yet been repaired.

The business is currently trading from the first floor of the premises, but this is a small space and not sustainable. The £75,000 grant from the council and funding already secured from the Leeds City Region flood recovery fund will go towards the company’s ambitious multi-million pound investment plan to build a new store, with the existing ground floor being converted into a car park.

The plans for the new store would also qualify for temporary business rate relief.

Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “The council is firmly committed to doing all we can to help local businesses which were hit hard by the unprecedented flooding in 2015.

“In addition to this grant, we’ve also worked jointly with the Leeds City Region LEP and West Yorkshire Combined Authority to see how their funds can strengthen the collaborative work to support local flood affected businesses.

“Russell Dean is a well-established local company and their plans are exceptional, so I’m delighted that we’ve been able to award this grant to support their ambition, which demonstrates real commitment to the future of Mytholmroyd.”

Jonathan Stoker, joint managing director of Stokers Ltd, owner of Russell Dean, added: “We are delighted with the help that Calderdale Council has given us on this project.

“The councillors and the officers have worked extremely hard with us to make this happen and have backed us every step of the way.

“We, and Calderdale Council, know how important this business is to Mytholmroyd and we were determined to do everything we could do to ensure its continued presence in the town.

“The proposed new building will ensure the business will have many more great years in Mytholmroyd and will continue to serve the local community and attract people from the wider area into Mytholmroyd, which can only be great news for the local community.

“It is hoped to start building in early spring 2017 with a completion date of December 2017. “e are very excited about the new building and the future ahead. The new store will create more job opportunities as well as secure the future of the existing staff who have worked in the store for many years.”