UK, New Project help North East’s businesses cope with effects of severe weather

An innovative project to help the UK North East’s businesses cope with the future effects of severe weather and climate change is launched this week.

The Climate Change Adaptation Project, run by Prince of Wales’s charity, Business in the Community (BITC), and funded through regional development agency, ONE North East, has the target to encourage businesses to take action to reduce businesses’ vulnerability to the effects of a sever weather event and ensure they can remain in business after it.

The project is being launched following the growing recognition that the world’s climate is changing. In the North East, for example, forecasts predict a rise of some 21% in winter rainfall and in extreme hot temperatures of around 3C with the danger of an increase in flooding from rivers, streams, the sea, and from drainage systems, all causing disruption to road, rail and transport systems.

Last year’s flooding in Morpeth, which affected over 100 local businesses, was an example of these risks and suggested that smaller businesses could be particularly vulnerable.

The project will target businesses in priority areas such as sectors whose products, services or processes are weather dependant, or companies that have already been affected by extreme weather.

It will offer businesses face to face advice and an on-line risk checklist generating a detailed report and action plan, which will allow to take action to minimise their potential risks.

Gareth Williams, BITC’s Project Manager, was reported as saying: “All businesses, whatever their sector, location and size, are faced with direct and indirect impacts of climate change, as we have seen only too recently in Morpeth and Rothbury.
“Through this project, we hope to be able to help business avoid some of the risks, and remain in business in the longer term”.



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