BRADFORD Council has received more than £600,000 to help victims of the Boxing Day floods, with money available to stricken home and business owners.

James Wharton MP, who visited the district yesterday in his role as Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, said £601,509 had now been paid to the local authority, an amount confirmed by Council leader David Green.

The funding will be used to provide £500 to each flooded household, with money also available to subsidise Council Tax and Business Rates relief, support for local businesses, and flood resilience work designed to mitigate future risk.

Following his visit to areas including Stockbridge in Keighley, Bingley, and Esholt, Mr Wharton said: "It was good to meet so many residents who have pulled together as a community, in terrible circumstances, and to see how that community is working to get through that difficult time," adding that the money demonstrated a "significant package of support."

He praised the "invaluable" updates from Conservative MPs Philip Davies (Shipley) and Kris Hopkins (Keighley) in helping to improve the response efforts to the floods, and Mr Davies said he was "delighted" at the prompt financial support.

"I am very pleased the government appreciated that time is of the essence to help people get back on their feet again," he said.

"I pressed on them the need to act as soon as possible, and I am delighted they have heeded that call.

"Hopefully the Council can now distribute the money quickly.

"In my view, more money will be needed, but this is a timely first instalment."

Cllr Green said: "The payments of £500 to each household where flooding occurred inside the property are already being made, and some people should have those in their bank accounts today.

"We wanted to make sure the initial payments were made as soon as possible, and we are working to Government guidelines to move the rest of the payments out of the door."

As river levels return to normal, business owners across the district continue to count the cost of the damage caused.

The landlords of a Bingley pub devastated on Boxing Day have said it will be months before they are able to open again.

Jo Hogg, who runs the Brown Cow with her husband Matthew, said she was "still numb" after the unprecedented deluge, described by the pub's owner, Timothy Taylor's, as "absolutely heart-breaking."

The pub is one of many to have been affected by the flooding, with staff praising the community spirit shown by customers and volunteers in helping to clear the debris.

"It's a case of ripping everything out and starting afresh," she said.

"We're meeting with Timothy Taylor's on Monday to discuss what to do, but it looks like at least March before we'll be able to open again.

"The response from our regulars and locals has been fantastic, we've had people just turning up and helping all the time.

"I'm still numb about the whole thing to be honest. I've cried, laughed, then cried again. You've just got to get on with things.

"The uncertainty of the whole thing is the worst part, as this is our income and livelihood at the end of the day."

Heike Funke, operations manager at Timothy Taylor's, said the pub had only undergone a full refurbishment in October.

"The water was more than 5ft high, and everything has been contaminated, it's completely wrecked," she said.

"It will involve a huge amount of work as everything will have to be replaced, the plaster, floorboards, all the electrics.

"It's absolutely heartbreaking for everyone involved.

"We will work to get the pub back open as soon as we can, although it is impossible to put a timescale on it at this stage.

"The help with the clear-up has been fantastic, with locals and contractors all giving up their Christmas holidays to help."

Worshippers at All Saints’ Church in Bingley are collecting cash to help the beleaguered boss of nearby pub The Old White Horse Inn in Old Main Street, which has been forced to close due to flood damage.

The Anglo-Saxon parish church sits on raised ground above the pub, where new landlord Mark Evans recently began rebuilding its trade.

"Mark has lost all his income, so we are doing a little bit to try and help," said All Saints’ former vicar Rev Canon Beverley Mason.

The Stansfield Arms in Apperley Bridge also suffered at the hands of the River Aire, with water flooding the pub's cellar and damaging a large marquee used for functions.

Landlord Chris Green said: "We had a New Year's Eve event planned for the marquee that we thought we'd have to cancel, but Woodhouse Grove School stepped in to help us out.

"The community spirit and the way everyone has pulled together has been amazing, we've had customers and staff in for hours pumping out water and clearing up to allow us to re-open."

During the worst of the flooding, the entrance to Woodhouse Grove School was underwater, with severe damage caused to its 4G synthetic pitch, also used for training by Bradford City FC.

In the aftermath of the severe flooding in the Calder Valley, a man from Bradford was arrested yesterday on suspicion of stealing items from flood victims on Burnley Road in Mytholmroyd on Wednesday.

He was arrested alongside a 26 year-old man from Halifax after being seen taking belongings from gardens and loading them into a van, an act labelled "morally reprehensible" by police.

The 24-year-old, of Wibsey, has been released on bail while police carry out further enquiries.

Calderdale Council made a second safety inspection of Brighouse Bridge, which spans the River Calder in Huddersfield Road, Brighouse, yesterday after concerns that a crack in its structure has been made worse by the recent flooding.

Local residents had warned that a crack in the bridge had been made noticeably bigger by the volume of water, but Calderdale Council said both inspections had deemed the bridge safe to use.

In the Wharfe Valley, Otley Bridge was also given a clean bill of health despite a battering by flood water, with Leeds City Council stating it was "absolutely fine" following safety assessments.