Leeds & West Yorkshire

Calderdale Watermark scheme raises £300,000 flood cash fund

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Media captionAlmost a year on from the floods, BBC Look North takes a look back at the Calder Valley's recovery

A scheme set up to help future flood victims has raised £300,000.

Watermark sells products including food, drink and artwork in shops around the Calder Valley with a percentage of the profits going into the fund.

The money is doubled by Community Foundation for Calderdale and can then be distributed in the area if a flood hits.

More than 3,000 properties were flooded in the region on Boxing Day 2015 with damage estimated to be £150m.

Image caption Items being sold as part of the Watermark initiative include food, drink, books and artwork

The initiative is one of several led by Community Foundation for Calderdale which has raised more than £3m since the December floods.

Chris Sands from Watermark hoped similar schemes could be started in other areas around the UK at risk from flooding.

He said: "Anyone can contribute, even if they have no chance of being flooded.

"Lots of people are doing that because they want the place where they live to be sustainable."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The cost of the damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure in the Calder Valley is estimated to be £25m

Euan Noble, producer of Watermark Gin, said: "The objective is to grow our business and to give money back into the watermark fund - it's a win for everybody."

Earlier in December, a council report setting out plans to invest more than £92m in flood prevention said the threat of loss of life from flooding was "ever present" in the area.

Calderdale Council said the total cost to the authority was not yet clear but it was estimated that it could exceed £50m.

Work was "well under way" on multi-million pound flood alleviation schemes for Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge, the council added.

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