Business Continuity News: Flood damage can create months of disruption

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The McVitie's and Carr's biscuit factory in Carlisle, Cumbria fires up the ovens again and prepares to return to full production after the plant was flooded as a result of Winter Storm Desmond. To mark the start of manufacturing at the United Biscuits site the Vice Chairman of parent company Yildiz Holding Ali Ulker made a visit to see the work at the Carlisle site. Exterior of the factory : 4 March 2016 STUART WALKER S75312.jpg

In this article which primarily focusses on the initiatives taken by Pladis to improve flood protection for the McVities factory in Carlisle, UK also gives an interesting insight into just how long a business can be disrupted by a major physical disruption to it’s premises.  Recovery and restoration times can be measured on months, not hours or days.  It isn’t always about information technology:

Pladis has decided to invest in and improve its McVitie’s factory in Caldewgate by installing flood resilient measures.

The firm has just been granted planning permission to partially demolish sections of existing boundary walls and construct new flood resilient ones to the north and east of its sprawling historic site.

statement submitted to planners said: “The flood incidents of 2005 and 2015 in Carlisle resulted in the site being inoperable for a number of months, causing significant business disruption.

“The business has taken the decision to protect the site and its 750 employees’ future by investing in the site and protecting it from any future floods.”

Mike Heaney, the factory’s general manager, said: “We’re proud that our factory is part of the fabric of Carlisle’s community and appreciate the support we’ve received to help restore it following last year’s flood.

“The efforts of our Pladis team, far and wide has enabled us to reopen the factory after just four months.

“As you can see, we’re still in the process of making improvements to safeguard our factory and we are truly thankful for the tireless efforts of our team to help us continue to bake our much loved biscuits.”

The news has been welcomed by the city’s council leader Colin Glover.

He told The Cumberland News: “Post-floods there’s always anxiety when people have been affected a second time, particularly when there are lots of jobs at stake.

“But I’m really pleased that the company has stayed committed to Carlisle and put the factory back into full production and now is looking to make the plant more resilient.

“It shows a real commitment to the city and that can only be a good thing, protecting the jobs there too, and it shows there is a confidence in Carlisle as a place to invest.”

The factory was inundated by water when Storm Desmond hit in December.

Production at the factory was halted on December 5 due to substantial flood damage to electrical equipment and ovens.

After being submerged in 39.2 million litres of water, 540 tonnes of debris was cleared from the site to allow normal production to get going again.

Article from inCumbria