Why “The Watermark”?


A watermark is a stamp of quality; the dictionary definition is “A distinctive mark, the first and immediate effect of an experience or perceptionupon the mind” but for Ivybridge it is so much more.

The name was submitted as part of a competition to select the name for our multi-purpose building and the winning entry came from Elizabeth Silsbury, with her intention of reflecting the heritage of the town by linking the newest landmark with one of the oldest (and most important) – Stowford Mill. Stowford Mill is an operational paper mill on the foothills of Dartmoor, on the banks of the River Erme, within the parish of Ivybridge and has provided watermarked paper since 1843 to a number of prestigious organisations. Watermarking is a speciality of Stowford Mill and they are unique in England in having the entire process from design of the watermark through to the manufacture of the paper carried out on the same site.

The quality of the Stowford Mill watermarked paper which was produced by a dedicated team of local people is inspirational and is a demonstrable link to the culture and creativity within “The Watermark”.

In the heart of Ivybridge, The Watermark is home to a cinema and theatre space, conference and banqueting facilities with bar, state-of-the-art library, IT suite, community information resources, coffee shop plus business units for rent and business support services.

This development really started to take shape after Ivybridge Town Council purchased a central piece of land in the town centre and Devon County Council made a pledge of £1.9m, which was then matched with £460,000 from the Town Council, £470,000 from South Hams District Council, £400,000 from Devon Renaissance (which is funded by the South West RDA), £200,000 of European Regional Development Funding from the South West Objective 2 Programme and £260,000 from other sources. This funding, plus a committed project team, has enabled this development to take place.