SIX months on from the cataclysmic floods brought on by Storm Desmond, Tynedale is beginning to get back to its feet.

The murky flood-water that devastated so many buildings has drained away and houses are homes once more.

But in the wake of Storm Desmond, two long-standing Prudhoe businesses are faced with the prospect of leaving the town.

Tyne Valley Plastics, in Low Prudhoe, was submerged beneath a foot-and-a-half of water on December 5 last year.

Control panels and power supplies to much of the machinery at the injection moulding plastics company was ruined, putting the business out of production.

For the next three months all work had to be sub-contracted to competing plastics moulding companies in the area and Tyne Valley Plastics was awarded a £300,000 insurance claim.

But when managing director, Gill Rice tried to renew the insurance at the end of May, she was told flood cover was not available.

Now, after 22 years in Prudhoe, the company may be forced to move out of the area.

Gill says that Northumberland County Council has been helpful with recovery and resilience grants, but that more should be done to protect businesses.

The Flood Re scheme, established to help with affordable insurance for homes in high-risk flood areas, is not available to businesses.

Gill said: “They won’t renew it because it’s too big a risk for them. So if the floods happened again, we would be put out of business.

“I’m not sure I’ve got a plan yet. It’s all happened out of nowhere. We’re looking at having to leave Prudhoe. I don’t think we can run as a business without flood cover.

“We don’t want to move far, all of our staff live locally. It would be a huge upheaval.

“I think there should be legislation in place to protect businesses. I think Flood Re should be for businesses as well. Insurers could be forced to offer cover.”

Tyne Valley Plastics neighbours are A.V. Works on Marquis Court.

The audio visual hire and installation company was left £20,000 out of pocket due to flood damage.

And two months of business was lost as staff spent December and January clearing up the aftermath of the flood.

The company had been informed by its insurers, a few months prior to Storm Desmond, that it would not receive flood cover.

However, at the time the Environment Agency website located A.V Works in an area at 0.1 to one per cent risk of flooding.

Director Dave Proctor said: “We understood that the Government had made an agreement with insurers that if properties were at less than one to three per cent chance they had to insure them.

“After we were flooded we contacted the insurance company and it said that agreement lapsed in 2013 and wasn’t renewed by the Government.

“If the Government had got its finger out when the agreement lapsed we would have been covered.

“But because insurance companies have a get-out, small businesses within the area get short shrift.

“We’re in the process of re-locating, partly to get out of this area because there’s bad history with the insurance claim.

“And also, with the down-turn because of the flood, we’re going to relocate to smaller premises and cut our losses.”