Skip to Content

The Sesame Project

The Sesame project aims to understand and model the impacts of flooding on the UK’s small businesses and the knock-on effects on the wider economy – and to find ways of encouraging businesses to be better prepared in future.

Assessments of flooding impacts have traditionally focused on the direct, local impacts on people and assets. This part of the SESAME project will improve understanding of the economic impacts of floods on SMEs and the knock-on effects of these on the wider economy. Taken together, we term these the flood footprint – the total direct and indirect socio-economic impact of a flood on both the flooded area and wider economic and social systems. We have adapted the city-scale Adaptive Regional Input-Output (ARIO) model to measure the flood footprint for a flood in the Lower Don area of Sheffield and the macroeconomic costs and benefits of implementing adaptation measures. Preliminary estimates suggest that it would have taken at least 20 months for Sheffield’s economy to fully recover from the 2007 flood, which had a flood footprint of £571m (6.8% of the city's Gross Value Added). Direct and indirect losses account for £295m and £276m respectively.

UEA Team

Dr Dabo Guan, Co-Investigator (Economic Impact)


For full list of partner institutions, visit


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


Logo of the EPSRC, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council