A VOLUNTEER group to develop a flood preparation plan for Burnley and Padiham is to be set up.

A handful of businesses, residents and councillors are being sought to create a community flood resilience group.

Its aim would be to create an action plan for those who are in danger of flooding or what to do in a time of crisis.

This comes as parts of East Lancashire suffered large amounts of damage during the 2015 Boxing Day floods.

Hundreds of people were left homeless as the army was called in to evacuate homes.

Catherine Price, Padiham’s town centre manager, who is behind the group, said Padiham was hit hard by the excessive water.

She said: “We want to create a go-to plan for the community to help themselves if the high water levels ever returned.

“It’s about preparation and dealing with it at a local level.

“It would involve advice such as how to prepare for a flood, ie setting up a flood gate and sandbags, to what to do if the water is already coming into a home.

“The people of Padiham acted amazingly during the floods and they went to unbelievable lengths to help as many as they could.”

Firefighters said they dealt with 350 flood-related incidents and rescued 50 people as the Environment Agency put the county on red alert, meaning there was a danger to life.

Rest centres were set up in Whalley, Longridge, Haslingden and Chorley to help those affected after barely a corner of East Lancashire escaped unscathed.

A comprehensive package of measures has been created by Burnley Council to help protect Padiham Town Hall from future water damage.

Internal plasterwork, some dating back to when the hall opened in 1938, is also set to be replaced, along with internal and external doors.

Miss Price said: “Once we have information back from the Environment Agency and their plans for flood defences we can form the group and start our work.

“So many businesses were hit during the floods, with such a massive impact on their finances.

“This is why we need to have our own plan so they can quickly act and held avoid substantial damage.

“Anyone who wishes to join the group when it forms can contact Burnley Council.”