Watch out for the Watermark

Watch out for the Watermark

What is WATERMARK all about?

Over the years Calderdale has been hit with serious flooding that has caused major disruption and heartache for households and businesses, particularly in the Calder Valley (Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd & Sowerby Bridge) but also in Elland & Brighouse.

Watermark Flood Fund Calderdale is an initiative aimed at protecting the communities of Calderdale from future flooding and also aiding the recovery for businesses. It is an idea born from the Boxing Day floods of 2015, when 2,781 homes and 4,416 businesses were affected in an event that saw over 60mm of rainfall in just 24 hours.

Chris Sands, brand expert and founder of Totally Locally movement, presented an idea to The Community Foundation for Calderdale (who raised and distributed £3 million during the 2015 floods) - to create a resilience fund that would directly benefit the community in future flood events.

This fund would build a pot of money that could be accessed by businesses and households immediately when future floods hit – all done by the businesses and community themselves.

Watermark Flood Fund Calderdale began in January 2016 and now has over 50 members actively selling a WATERMARK product or service. The fund has now reached over £250,000.

When you visit Calderdale you will notice the WATERMARK branding in many shops across the valley, these businesses are selling a product that contributes to the fund.

How does it work?

Shops, makers, businesses, growers and service providers produce a WATERMARK product. They badge it up with WATERMARK stickers or branding. The shop or business sells their WATERMARK product and a percentage (or all) of the profits goes into the Watermark Flood Fund.


Here’s just a few of the Watermark businesses.

Heart Gallery is a gem in the heart of Hebden Bridge for those seeking contemporary art, timeless jewellery and engaging craft, from talented local and UK artists. Alison, owner of Heart Gallery, is a passionate Watermark member with five unique products carrying the WATERMARK brand, all created with local artists. Alison experienced the flooding first hand in her gallery and is extremely passionate about supporting the fund.

Gin Lane in the stunning Piece Hall in the centre of Halifax, stocks the Watermark pure Gin, hand batched in Brighouse by pHure Liquors and created especially for the fund. Gin Lane is set up to be the premium gin destination of Calderdale, with over 40 artisan gins and an amazing setting in which to enjoy them!

The Town Hall in Hebden Bridge is the hub for the community and a huge supporter of Watermark. It houses a pop up shop of merchandise for the campaign such as notebooks, tea towels, bags, books, even bags of coffee. When you buy from it (it’s an honesty box system) you directly support the Watermark fund. It’s hugely popular and a big talking point in the reception.The Town Hall also has a weekly contribution to the fund by hosting ‘Watermark Wednesday’ in their cafe. The Town Hall buzzes with activity and provides a wealth of information for visitors and the community alike.

Happy Days Cycles is a cycle shop and cafe that supports community living schemes. They serve and sell locally brewed coffee that supports the fund from their shop overlooking the River Calder in Sowerby Bridge.


Each and every Watermark member has a story to share about why they support the fund and what it means when you buy a Watermark product. It means a huge amount! Not only are you supporting the local economy, but you are contributing to a resilience fund that will strengthen the community in times of need.Find out more by visiting our website and Facebook page.

Thank you.

Published at 9 Nov 2017