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UK Flood Barriers -10 Years of ‘firsts’ that have shaped the flood defence sector

UK Flood Barriers is recognised as the UK’s leading flood specialist, renowned for innovation, quality and standards that have shaped the sector.

 From its base in Worcestershire, UKFB has revolutionised the domestic flood defence market and become an established specialist flood partner for main contractors both at home and abroad. Quite an achievement for a company that’s only been around for 10 years. 

Here we take a whistle stop tour through the company’s 10 year history and highlight the many ‘firsts’ that this dynamic, forward thinking company can boast.  

2007 - In the Beginning

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Frank Kelly establishes UK Flood Barriers in Droitwich, having witnessed the devastation of summer flooding in the Worcestershire area. His extensive knowledge of construction techniques coupled with an understanding of a property’s flood vulnerability convinced Frank this was a viable business opportunity. 

2007 – Certified Product Manufacture 

Flood Angel

From the outset Flood Angel was established the product manufacturing arm of the business. Flood Angel has grown to be the UK’s leading manufacturer of Kitemark certified flood products. From its purpose built factory in Droitwich, it manufactures a holistic range of products including; Flood Defender Doors, Defender Barriers, Anti-Flood Airbricks & NRVs, thousands of which have been installed in homes nationwide. 

2010 – Certified Product Testing - The Flood Tank

UKFB Test Tank

At its Worcestershire base, UK Flood Barriers developed and launched the UK’s only BSI approved, privately owned flood product testing facility. This enabled the thorough testing of all Flood Angel Products to Kitemark standards and provided a unique facility for exploring new product developments. 

The facility was also made available to external organisations who wanted to test their products to BSI standards. 

The flood tank has been fully refurbished in 2016 to include the Flood House where visitors can experience the effect of being in a ‘protected’ home in flood conditions -

As the water around the house rises to 1m depth the house remains completely flood proof and bone dry.

2012 - UK’s longest automatic Flood Barrier installed in Cockermouth 

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UK Flood Barriers was contracted by the Environment Agency, to work with Volkerstevin to install its unique automatic Self Activating Flood Barrier along a 115m stretch of the River Cocker in Cockermouth. Back in the winter of 2015/16, the barrier was tested in anger. None of the homes located adjacent to the Barrier were flooded and the local residents took to social media to praise the miracle SAFB!

2013 – Certified Installation – Phase One Flood Professionals 

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Having recognised the importance for flood product certification, Frank was determined to take quality standards in the flood industry to the next level. In his mind the installation of Kitemark products by individuals with no experience or training to do so completely undermined the product certification process. Working with BPEC and subsequently BSI he developed the UK’s first 'Certified Installers' training course – Flood Professionals. 

2014 - Certified Training facility 

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To support the training requirements of the Flood Professionals course, a state of the art training facility was built and opened featuring a practical installation testing area and ‘classroom’ facilities. To date over 200 surveyors and installers have undertaken training in the facility achieving a certified Flood Professionals qualification.

2015 – Certified Installation - Phase Two Flood Professionals 

bsi Flood Protection Installation Kitemark

The desire to further promote the adherence to standards across the sector saw Frank engaging with the British Standards Institute (BSI) to develop a refined training course that would qualify installers to fit all Kitemark certified flood products to Kitemark certified standard. Two years on Flood Professionals remains the only BSI Kitemark certified; product, survey and installation qualification in the UK.

2015 - Raising Flood Awareness - The Flood Advisory Service 

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Raising awareness of flood risk and supporting affected communities with quality products and service has been imperative to Frank since he established UK Flood Barriers. Frustrated by the lack of constructive advice and support being afforded to homeowners and communities by Government agencies, Frank became the founding sponsor of the Flood Advisory Service.  

Since its launch in 2015, this not for profit organisation with its articulated mobile showroom has provided free advice on practical flood mitigation solutions to thousands of individuals where it matters most – at the heart of flood affected and high-risk communities. 

The Flood Advisory Service now operates completely independently of UK Flood Barriers.

2016 - Creating Industry Cohesion - The UK Flood Partnership 

UK Flood Partnership

Determined to pull a fragmented industry together, Frank has been instrumental in driving the establishment of The UK Flood Partnership. Established in late 2016, the initiative was conceived to support the growth of a high quality, UK wide & international flood defence industry. It provides a unique forum for engagement, representing the first ever attempt to bring together like minded organisations to help tackle the global threat of flood. UK Flood Barriers is proud to be a founding member alongside; Arup, Royal Haskoning, EIC & the UK Water Partnership.  

2016/7 – Making an impact across The Pond 

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Having already established itself as a national and international player delivering major commercial projects across the UK and Europe, the UKFB team was engaged in 2016 by renowned US contractor, Turner Construction. The highly prized contract - to install the world leading Self Activating Flood Barrier to protect both the brand new NYU Kimmel Science Block and Medical Centre situated close to Manhattan's Hudson river.  

Partnering with US manufacturers and suppliers, Frank is proud to be introducing this world beating British technology to the US flood mitigation sector in Donald Trump's home city.

2017 - Growing the UK Business Arm 

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As part of its long term commitment to provide the UK's 'at risk' communities with a consolidated and joined up flood sector, UK Flood Barriers acquired the flood division of the Arktek Group in Sunderland in April this year.

The merger with Arktek, to form UK Flood Barriers Northern represents a major strategic move for Frank and his team. Joining forces with a company that has itself built an enviable reputation in the North East for delivering high quality service standards in the flood arena, is a natural fit for the growth plans of this dynamic and highly successful UK business.

And they are just the highlights! 

Frank and the UKFB team have many more ‘firsts’ on the drawing board as they continue to establish and grow all areas of the company's ‘best in class’ product and service range.

For further information contact: UK Flood Barriers Marketing on 01905 773282

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