Keeping an eye on the future after deluge

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A Hebden Bridge opticians has reopened five months after being devastated by flooding following an investment of £300,000.

Valli Opticians at Bridge Gate reopened on Tuesday, May 31, after extensive investment on internal and structural work on the 2,000 square foot building, to ensure the practice is flood proof and to prevent a repeat of 2015’s damaging events.

Since it was forced to close at the end of December after the Boxing Day floods, the team of seven has been working from other branches of the Yorkshire business to ensure that patients could still access eye healthcare.

Managing director, Moin Valli, said: “The flooding and subsequent disruption had a profound impact on the team and customers.

“We only expected to be closed for a few weeks but it soon became clear we had to look at our business continuity planning to make sure there wasn’t a repetition.

“It gave us an opportunity to update the interior and radically overhaul the customer experience.

“But structurally there has been a virtual rebuild to ensure the building is as flood proof as it can be.”

A number of measures were put in place to limit further damage in the event of more flooding.

All practice floors were rebuilt with concrete beam then covered with waterprood vinyl, walls were stripped back, concreted and then skimmed with a waterproof render, high shelving was fitted in the store room to hold expensive stock and furniture was remade using water-resistant MDF.

Mr Valli added: “The team have been amazing travelling to other practices and keeping patients informed where possible.

“We will never know the new business we have been missed because the door was closed, but the new practice should ensure it never happens again.