Flood Ark

Padiham, United Kingdom

The Boxing Day floods of 2015 brought devastation to large swathes of Northern England. Padiham was just one of the many towns and villages to experience flooding. The small town, which is situated just a few miles west of Burnley, experienced flooding after the nearby River Calder burst its banks.

As the flood waters quickly began to rise, the Environment Agency put the local area of red alert. Firefighters were forced to deal with 350 flood-related incidents, including rescuing 50 residents. The army was also called in to assist with the evacuation, as hundreds of local people were evacuated from their homes.

However, it was not just homes that bore the brunt of the flooding – the town’s beautiful Art Deco town hall was also badly damaged. Built in 1938, the town hall was inundated with floodwater. Extensive damage was caused throughout the building, with the sprung flood of the ballroom being completely destroyed. A volunteer group was subsequently established to develop a flood preparation plan to ensure that such damage was avoided in the future.

As part of that plan, a comprehensive package of measures was agreed, including flood-resilient windows and doors. A Burnley Council spokesperson explained:

“Padiham Town Hall is a listed building and an important historical building. Sadly, the floods caused extensive damage and not only have we had to carry out repair works sensitively with the architectural heritage in mind, we’ve also had to carry out flood resilience work to minimise the damage should any following occur in the future.”

The contract to improve the flood protection of the site was awarded to MM Engineering. Having partnered with the company on a number of other projects in the past, they already knew that our flood barriers offer a proven standard of flood protection. They therefore asked us to supply and install barriers to protect the front entrance doors and two fire exit doors at the front and rear of the building.

Despite the entrances to the town hall being raised, the renovators of the building decided to take no chances. The barriers we installed can be quickly erected when flood threaten and have instruction printed on them, ensuring staff can swiftly protect the building in the event of any future flooding.