Greg Clark (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) came to visit Hebden Bridge and find out all about Watermark Flood Fund back in April, we had a great time showing him the delights of Calderdale. After hearing about Watermark, Greg traveled across from Hull specially to see how the scheme works and how it came about. It was our opportunity to show Greg some of the flood affected businesses that are supporting Watermark but also to demonstrate that we will not be defeated by the floods of Boxing day 2015.
Greg enjoyed a swift half at drink? and a tasty Blazing Burger at Craggies, he even got a tour of Blazing Saddles Bike Shop (with an in depth history lesson about Halifax-made Orange bikes by Chris Sands!).
Greg has a genuine love for Calderdale, and was in awe of the scenery that day. (and he loved his Watermark Tea-Towel!).
Here is the Government Department press release (featured in The Telegraph):
Holidaymakers can support flood-affected communities
Holidaymakers visiting the picturesque Yorkshire countryside can now do their bit to support flood-affected communities – simply by buying a burger and washing it down with a locally brewed beer.
Communities Secretary Greg Clark today gave his backing to the Watermark project in Calder Valley, one of a number of innovative new schemes raising millions of pounds to support residents both in the aftermath of December’s floods and long into the future.
The project means money is raised to support flood-affected residents and businesses in the area by selling Watermark-branded, marking the point where the floodwaters peaked, products – whether that’s a tea towel, beer, coffee or even a burger.
The project is run by the Calderdale Community Foundation, one of over 30 charities that have had the funds they have raised matched pound for pound by Government, part of a £250 million package of support for flood-hit communities.
Mr Clark visited the project in April, where he saw for himself the great work already being done to help flood-hit communities – and how easy it is to offer them support.
Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:
“Communities whose lives were turned upside down by the floods have showed remarkable spirit and determination to get back on their feet.
“Now others can get behind these charities and support their cause simply by visiting these beautiful areas and tucking into a burger, or buying a souvenir with the Watermark brand.
“I’ve seen for myself the incredible support projects like Watermark are offering, and I’m proud that as a Government we’re match-funding charities as part of the £250 million we’ve put towards helping residents and businesses in flood affected areas.”
“We are a determined and visionary lot in Calderdale. We are NOT going to allow the worst flood in living memory to dampen our resolve and we are proud to launch Watermark so local residents and visitors can enjoy the best that we can offer and in so doing help to create a Flood Fund – just in case it happens again!”
Steve Duncan DL, CEO of Community Foundation for Calderdale
Charities supporting flood-affected communities
The Government has made clear its commitment to stand fully behind flood-affected communities following this winter’s record rainfall.
So far Ministers have announced a package of support worth over £250million – including a £5million funding for flood-affected businesses available through local councils, and £7.5million in match-funding to charities who played such a big role in supporting those communities affected by storms Desmond and Eva.
One of these is the Watermark scheme in Calderdale, which gives local business owners the chance to brand their goods – whether that’s a cup of coffee, a tea-towel or burgers in local cafes.