The Long Game: Gerard Hiscock

Gerard Hiscock is executive chairman of Watergate Flood Solutions, a company dedicated to the manufacture of storm resistant doors for the domestic market. Gerard has operated for most of his career in the building sector and his products are extensively used across the North of England. He is passionate in the field of product development and Watergate is the first company in the UK to achieve a BSI kitemark for composite doors

Past

When I first joined the industry, housing products were bespoke and this continued to be the case for the next ten years, or so. This all changed when bigger companies started to bring in automated manufacturing, which meant customers were seeing better cost savings than ever before and, as a result, margins were eroded. This, along with the downturn of new-build housing in 2009, meant that we, as a business, had to look for a different focus for our skilled workforce.

It was during this time that global warming had become a real talking point and the news was regularly filled with stories of people’s homes and, consequentially, lives that had been destroyed due to flooding. Evidence from the Kyoto Treaty told the world that the climate was changing yet the only products on the market were reactive such as sand bags, covers and barriers. We started to have all our doors tested for wind, water and security resistance and with concrete evidence that our products could be adapted to protect against flooding, the business changed course and started on the path that has led to the present day.

Present

In the past five years, we have invested incredible amounts of time and money in to the research and development of proactive solutions to flooding. In January this year, we became the UK’s first company to be BSI kitemark accredited for both composite and Upvc storm resistant doors for the domestic market. As part of the accreditation our manufacturing plant continues to be assessed twice a year for the quality of the production of our products.

Our intuition to change the direction of the company has proven correct as satellite technology confirms the UK is experiencing more storms that ever before, the most significant being Storm Desmond in 2015, which devastated large areas in the North of England. I am proud to say that our products are now protecting those affected houses from further damage in the future.

 

Future

By its nature, the future is unpredictable and never certain and the same can most definitely be said for the weather. Four out of five floods do not happen in flood areas and while technology has drastically improved since the early days of my career, the weather continues to baffle scientists.

Throughout all the uncertainty, we will be here to supply flood installation companies and will continue our research and development at a pace as we look at new products that will provide increased protection for the domestic market place. We will continue to be passionate in our stance that all products being supplied to protect against fire or floods should be kitemark accredited.

Moving forward we will also be turning our attention to products that would be highly valuable to the commercial world.

Watergate Flood Solutions
www.watergatefloodsolutions.co.uk
@watergate_doors

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