Floods in 2012 cost UK economy  £600 million

Flooding in 2012 could have cost the UK economy close to £600 million, according to the latest research from the Environment Agency (EA).

The overall financial cost to businesses of the extreme weather was up to £200 million, with total commercial property and contents damage totalling up to £84 million.

Further indirect impacts, such as staff working days lost, hit companies and local economies with a £33 million bill, according to the EA.

In 2012, one in four days were officially in drought, with 20 million people affected by hosepipe bans and flooding occurring one in every five days, which affected more than 7,000 properties.

The EA’s latest figures reveal that every affected business was setback an average £60,000, while flood defences protected 200,000 properties – worth up to £1.7 billion to the UK economy.

In England and Wales, 175,000 businesses are at risk of flooding and in a recent survey, 1 in 5 members of the Federation of small businesses said flooding had had a negative impact on their company over the past 12 months.

Water minister, Dan Rogerson, said: “Flooding can cause lasting damage to property, stock and supply chains. That’s why it’s so important that businesses plan ahead.

“Many businesses are already helping to build a stronger economy in areas previously at risk by contributing £148m in partnership funding.

“On top of this we’re also investing over £2.3 billion in tackling the risk of flooding. Together with contributions from other partners, this is more money than ever before.”