In a joint initiative with Bridge Mill owner, David Fletcher, we have secured to reopening of the former car park at the old fire station site in Hebden Bridge. We hope that this project will continue for at least six months.

We will fund part of the rent from our strategic fund for business recovery following the 2015 floods. This initiative will, we hope, help the town to recover some of the economic losses of 2016 as a result of the flooding and prolonged recovery period.

Stephen Curry, Chair of UCVR said “we have spent almost all our time this year on strategic support for business recovery along the valley since the floods, it seemed entirely appropriate to end the year supporting such a smart economic initiative. This will boost the trade in Hebden Bridge at just the right time. Businesses there made up 30% of the total devastated by flooding along the Calder Valley and this will help in their ongoing recovery process”.

Val Cryne of the Cook & Coffee shop, and Vice Chair of the Hebden Bridge Business Forum, said “This is great news, what a fantastic early Christmas present for both the traders and shoppers. And just in time for ‘Small Business Saturday’ and Hebden’s late night shopping on 2nd December. We would like to thank both David and the UCVR for making this happen”.

The car park will be opened on 24th November. David said “because this is a short-term project it can’t be run like the pay and display carpark it was, it will need to be a manned car park, so only open during the day, except for the late night shopping event. We want to encourage people to stay longer in the town, so the charges will be simple, £1 for up to two hours or £5 for all day. Those using Bridge Mill café and shopping at Innovation will get a refund of parking charges.

Stephen Curry added “as a not for profit company the UCVR would be happy to cover its cost, but any share of a surplus will be used to support our work in the community. The main purpose of this initiative is that the local economy gets a real lift for the festive season and beyond”.